What Are Berries?
In botanical terms, a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes, cucumbers, and tomatoes are berries, while raspberries and strawberries are not, despite their names.
Berries' Nutritional Powerhouses
Berries are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They have low calories and high levels of flavonoids, which may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
Strawberries: Not True Berries
Strawberries are aggregate fruits, consisting of multiple tiny individual fruits embedded in a fleshy receptacle. Each 'seed' (achene) on the outside is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.
Antioxidant Rich: Acai Berries
Acai berries have more antioxidants than other commonly eaten berries. They help combat free radicals in the body, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Blueberries' Surprising Ancestry
Blueberries are one of the few naturally blue foods and are native to North America. They share their genus, Vaccinium, with other berries like cranberries and huckleberries.
Berries in Cultural History
Berries have been consumed since prehistoric times. In Norse mythology, the goddess Idun was the keeper of berries that provided immortality to the gods.
Rarity: White Strawberries
White strawberries, also known as pineberries, are not only rare but offer a unique flavor profile, combining the taste of a strawberry with a pineapple.