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Healthy Berries & Their Benefits (A-Z List)

Healthy Berries

Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and many of them are also rich in health-boosting fiber. Due to their high nutritional value and strong antioxidant properties, berries have been researched extensively for their potential to prevent everything from cancer and cardiovascular disease to macular degeneration and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Below, you find a list of some of the healthiest berries as well as information about their potential health benefits. Also included are links to articles covering the benefits of each berry in detail.

Acai Berries

  • Lauded as a "superfood", the acai berry is known for its extremely strong antioxidant properties. These properties have been largely attributed to anthocyanins and other flavonoids abundant in this South American superberry.
  • Consumption of acai pulp has been shown to reduce levels of some markers of metabolic disease, including fasting glucose and insulin levels, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. Due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, acai berries may also help fight atherosclerosis, a condition that occurs when fat, cholesterol and other substances build up in the walls of arteries.
  • The acai berry has developed a reputation as an anti-aging food, largely due to studies that have shown it to promote longevity in fruit flies.
  • Anthocyanin-rich berries, such as acai berries, are thought to be good for the eyes. Studies suggest that anthocyanins can benefit vision in a number of ways, including by improving night vision, boosting circulation within the capillaries of the retina, reducing the risk of retinopathy in diabetics, and providing protection against age-related macular degeneration.
  • Acai berry extract has been shown to have anti-cancer activity against murine brain tumor cells.
  • For detailed information about the health benefits of these powerful berries, see Health Benefits of Acai Berries.

Aronia Berries

  • Also aronia berries have extremely strong antioxidant properties, even stronger than elderberries, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries.
  • Aronia powder has been touted as a weight-loss superfood because of the extremely high levels of anthocyanins it contains. Animal studies suggest anthocyanins have weight loss promoting properties.
  • Whether consumed fresh or dried, aronia berries are an excellent source of gut health promoting fiber.
  • Aronia berries have been used traditionally as a flu-fighter, and recent research confirms that aronia berries do indeed have anti-viral properties.
  • Aronia berry extracts have been shown to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in vitro.
  • To get the full scoop, check out the in-depth article Health Benefits of Aronia Berries.

Bilberries (Wild Blueberries)

  • Wild blueberries have strong antioxidant properties, even stronger than cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cultivated blueberries. What's also great is that both fresh and frozen blueberries are supercharged with antioxidants, so you can feel good about picking a package of frozen bilberries when fresh are out of season.
  • Animal and test tube studies using colon cancer cells show that a phytochemical called pterostilbene, which is naturally found in bilberries and cultivated blueberries, has anti-cancer activities.
  • A natural compound called epicatechin found in blueberries may help fight urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from attaching to the lining of the bladder.
  • Anthocyanins, the flavonoids responsible for blueberries' tart taste and intense color, have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Thanks to their strong antioxidant properties and high fiber content, bilberries are also thought to be good for your veins.
  • Called "the vision fruit" in Japan, bilberries or extracts derived from them have been shown to improve night time visual acuity, reduce eyestrain, promote quicker adjustment to darkness, and fight macular degeneration.
  • To learn more about the health-promoting properties of these small but might berries, see Health Benefits of Bilberries.


  • Blackberries (especially Marionberries which are a cross between 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' blackberry cultivars) are loaded with anthocyanins, flavonoid pigments that have been shown to exert strong antioxidant properties in vitro.
  • Along with black and red raspberries, blackberries are one of the world's best natural sources of ellagic acid, a natural compound that has been extensively researched for its anti-cancer properties.
  • Blackberries are a good source of vitamin C, which, together with their strong antioxidant properties, make these juicy berries a great food for the skin.
  • As blackberries are packed with a wide range of cardioprotective nutrients and phytochemicals, they are also a great option for those who are looking to incorporate more 'heart-smart' foods into their diets.
  • For in-depth information about, see Health Benefits of Blackberries.

Blue Honeysuckle Berries

  • Blue honeysuckle berries have been shown to contain very high levels of anthocyanins, even higher than blackberries. Anthocyanins have been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies.
  • Blue honeysuckle berries are also packed with fiber, with a 100-gram serving providing 27 % of the daily value for fiber.
  • To learn more about these relatively unknown berries, see Health Benefits of Blue Honeysuckle.


  • Proanthocyanidins in cranberries are believed to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) by inhibiting the adhesion of Escherichia coli, the main UTI-causing bacterium, to the urinary tract wall.
  • Cranberries and compounds found in cranberries have several immune-boosting properties, and there is some evidence suggesting they might help fight the cold and flu.
  • Cranberries are naturally rich in substances that may help combat certain oral diseases such as caries and periodontitis.
  • Cranberries may also help destroy Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause gastritis and peptic ulcers, and even stomach cancer. For more on this, see Cranberries and H. Pylori.
  • Cranberries, like many other berries, are naturally rich in substances that may make them effective at preventing certain types of cancer, when eaten as part of an overall healthy cancer prevention diet.
  • Want to learn more about the above-listed and other health benefits of these red berries? Then, check out the article Health Benefits of Cranberries.


  • Elderberry juice and elderberry tea are age-old remedies for the common cold, sinus infections, and other illnesses caused by a weak immune system, and now also studies seem to validate the use of these powerful little berries as a natural immune-booster.
  • Elderberries are also right there on top of the list of the most antioxidant-rich non-tropical berries, only second to aronia berries.
  • Elderberries are supercharged with fiber, with 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of whole elderberries delivering 28% of the daily value for this important macronutrient.
  • To get the full scoop, read Health Benefits of Elderberries.


  • In folk medicine, lingonberries have been used to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. While large-scale controlled trials are still missing, studies have shown that lingonberries do indeed contain compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Lingonberries contain the same compounds that are responsible for the anti-UTI properties of cranberries; however, large-scale studies are still needed to evaluate whether lingonberries have anti-UTI effects comparable to those of cranberries.
  • In laboratory studies, lingonberries have been shown to exert inhibitory activity against several types of cancer cells, including leukemia, colon, and cervical cancer cells.
  • Tannins extracted from lingonberries appear to have strong anti-microbial activity against bacteria that can cause periodontal disease.
  • To get the full scoop, see Health Benefits of Lingonberries (Cowberries).

Maqui Berries

  • This South American berry has been shown to have even stronger antioxidant powers than the acai berry which has been widely promoted as a superfood.
  • Due to their strong antioxidant properties, maqui berries have been researched for their potential to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Maqui berries have also been shown to have anti-viral properties.
  • For details about the health benefits of these "superberries", see Health Benefits of Maqui Berries.


  • Like most other berries, raspberries have strong antioxidant properties. Black raspberries have been found to exert stronger antioxidant effects than their red counterparts.
  • Raspberries have been shown to inhibit the growth of human oral, breast, colon, and prostate tumor cell lines in test tubes. The anti-cancer properties of raspberries are believed to be at last partially linked to their high content of ellagic acid.
  • Black raspberries are packed with anthocyanins, the same flavonoid pigments that give blueberries, aronia berries and elderberries many of their famous health benefits.
  • Raspberries may help keep your cardiovascular system healthy by combating hypertension (high blood pressure) and by inhibiting LDL oxidation.
  • Raspberries have anti-inflammatory properties, which might help ease symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • For more detailed information about the beneficial effects of eating raspberries, see Health Benefits of Red & Black Raspberries.

Sea-Buckthorn Berries

  • Sea-buckthorn berries, which are commonly consumed in the form of a juice extracted from whole sea-buckthorn berries, are supercharged with vitamin C, with 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of sea-buckthorn berries providing between 360 and 2500 milligrams of vitamin C. For the sake of comparison, fresh oranges provide about 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams.
  • Sea buckthorn juice has been shown to inhibit the growth of various cancer cell lines, including those of stomach, prostate, intestinal and breast cancer.
  • A small study involving ten healthy men found that the addition of sea-buckthorn berries to the men's meals helped prevent post-meal spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Some studies suggest that sea-buckthorn berries may have significant beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, but there have also been studies that have found no or only limited cardioprotective benefits.
  • Sea buckthorn oil, which can be extracted both from the seeds and the pulp of sea-buckthorn berries, has been shown to have detoxifying effects on chickens' livers.
  • To learn more, check out the in-depth article Health Benefits of Sea-Buckthorn Berries.

Book You May Like
Berry Cookbook

In Berries: The Complete Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Berries, New York-based health writer and certified holistic health counselor (CHHC) Stephanie Pedersen provides more than 75 recipes to tempt your palate and boost your well-being. Quinoa Cranberry Red Soup, Berry Kale Quinoa, Healthy Berry Streusel Bars, Key Lime Avocado Berry Pie, and Superfood Purple Smoothie are just a few of the mouthwatering recipes featured in this berry-focused cookbook. Learn more about it on Amazon.