Most people have eaten a fist full of cold cherries or tasted a sweet strawberry on a hot summer day. I routinely add both of these into smoothies for their taste and nutritional benefits. If you had to choose just one, which is better, cherries or strawberries?
Strawberries are better than cherries because they contain less calories, carbohydrates and less than half the sugar. Strawberries contain more fiber, calcium, iron, folate, phosphorus, niacin, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K and almost ten times the number of vitamin C than cherries.
Don’t count cherries totally out because they have many nutrients also. Both fruits have a lot in common. This article will discuss all the similarities and differences in complete detail, including storage.
Smoothie Tip: Adding frozen fruit, instead of ice, like strawberries enhances the flavor and nutrient content. The secret to an easy smoothie with frozen items is having a blender powerful enough to handle the workload.
The blender I recommend has a 6 blade, multi-tiered blade, check it out and the current price on Amazon, Nutri Ninja BL685 with Auto-iQ Technology.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Cherries and Where Do They Grow
Cherries are small, red, heart-shaped fruits that come from Prunus trees. There are 150 different species of cherries, but we mainly eat two kinds: sweet and sour 1.
Sweet cherries are what we typically think of when speaking of cherries. These are fleshy, bright red and sweet to eat right out of your hand. These are also good for cooking.
Sour cherries tend to be smaller, darker in color and rounder. Typically, people only cook with these.
Though people eat cherries worldwide, cherries originated in ancient Greece, Rome and China. They came over to the Americas in the 1600s. Today, Turkey is the biggest producer of cherries, followed by the United States 2.
Strawberries and Where Do They Grow
Strawberries are small, red, sweet, cone-shaped fruits that come from a low-growing plant. Despite the name, experts consider these to be accessory fruits and not berries.
The strawberry originated in Europe and we produced the first American variety in the 1800s. There are 103 different species of strawberries, but the strawberry we eat today is a hybrid of the American and the Chilean species 3.
Cherries and Strawberries Similarities and Differences
Many people have asked the question, is strawberry a cherry?
A strawberry is not a cherry. Although both fruits, cherries are grown on Prunus tress and strawberries grow on low hanging strawberry plants. Strawberries are a soft red fruit with a seed-studded surface while cherries are a firm fruit with a smooth skin.
Maybe some of the confusion about whether a strawberry is a cherry is a new variety of fruit called strawberry cherries. What are strawberry cherries?
Strawberry cherries are a new variety of fruit grown from a unique tree. Strawberry cherries are larger than a cherry, firm and juicy with a sweet taste. They don’t taste like a strawberry or a cherry.
How are cherries and strawberries similar?
Cherries and strawberries are both easy to eat, healthy and easy to store. They are both high in vitamins and nutrients and can be eaten fresh or cooked in various recipes. Both fruits store in the refrigerator for quick eating or can be frozen for future use.
Strawberries taste fruity with a sweet to mildly acid taste depending on its level of ripeness when picked. Cherries have a sweet to slightly tart taste depending on the variety and level of ripeness.
Although there is different varieties of strawberries, they all have a similar look, taste and use. On the other hand, there are sweet or sour cherries used for different purposes.
Sweet cherries and strawberries are both used in similar ways. They can be eaten whole, added to smoothies or used for deserts. Both can be cooked and used in pies.
Cherries vs Strawberries: Nutritional Value
As mentioned earlier, the largest differences are how many less carbohydrates, calories and sugar strawberries have compared to cherries 4. Also, in the strawberries favor, they have a large number more of vitamin C, folate and niacin.
The largest difference in the cherries favor is more potassium and vitamin A. The remaining nutrients are a toss up between the two fruits. They both contain a similar number of iron, magnesium and vitamin K 5.
Both fruits contain a wide variety of nutrients beneficial for a healthy nutrition plan.
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Harvesting Cherries and Strawberries
Both fruits are harvested in a similar fashion. Do cherries continue to ripen when picked? Cherries are a non-climacteric fruit that does not ripen once picked. Therefore, they should be picked when fully matured at maximum size and flavor.
When cherries are fully ripe they should easily come off when picked. Gently grasp them and tug easily, they will detach with the stem still attached. Carefully place the picked cherries into containers. Don’t overfill the containers or pack down the cherries to make more room.
Keep the picked cherries out of the sunlight and as cool as possible while transporting them home 6.
How about strawberries, do they ripen after being picked? Strawberries are non-climacteric and don’t ripen after being picked. Strawberries should be fully ripened when picked. They should be fully red with no green or white color.
Strawberries should be picked in the morning. Pick them at the stem with about 1/4 of the stem still attached. The strawberries should be gently placed into a container. Don’t overfill the container or pack the strawberries down.
Like cherries, keep the picked strawberries out of sunlight and in a cool place while bringing them home.
Cherries vs Strawberries: Storage
Unlike some other fruits, you should not wash cherries until you are ready to cook or eat them. Washing cherries prematurely can lead to early spoiling. Since cherries have a short shelf life of only a few days, you’ll want to keep them fresh for as long as possible.
Cherries are more perishable than other fruits and should be kept cool and refrigerated as soon as possible. If you won’t be eating them within a few days, it is best to freeze them.
Like cherries, you should not wash strawberries until you are ready to eat them. They are less perishable than cherries and will last five to seven days when stored correctly in the refrigerator 7.
It is a great idea to freeze the strawberries if you won’t be eating them within a week. When freezing, remember to remove the stems and slice up the fruit. Just like cherries, you can also can or preserve strawberries for future use.
Cherries vs Strawberries: Health Benefits
Strawberry Health Benefits
The magnesium, potassium, folate and vitamin c in strawberries are all beneficial for lowering blood pressure. Magnesium helps the blood vessels to relax and prevent them from constricting. Potassium helps the kidneys flush sodium and avoid excess fluid 8.
Vitamin C helps reduce blood vessel damage and increases the availability of nitric oxide. Researchers at John Hopkins University states consuming 500mg of vitamin C daily can help reduce blood pressure 9.
Lower blood pressure is beneficial for heart health. The antioxidants in strawberries have been associated with heart health in numerous scientific studies 10.
Other studies have linked berry consumption and a lower risk of heart related deaths 11.
The antioxidants in strawberries are linked to reducing inflammation and oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Various studies have shown how berries may help prevent different types of cancer by fighting inflammation and oxidative stress 12.
Other studies have shown how strawberries inhibited the growth of cancer cells in the liver 13.
Strawberries may also:
- Reduce inflammation.
- Lower cholesterol.
- Improve the function of blood vessels.
Cherry Health Benefits
Cherries contain antioxidants and polyphenols that may have anti-inflammatory compounds. A review of previous studies found consuming cherries reduced markers of inflammation 14.
The antioxidants and nutrients contained in cherries are known to promote heart health. One of them, potassium, helps keep blood pressure lower and promote healthy blood vessels.
Consuming higher levels of potassium are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke 15.
Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid which leads to swelling and inflammation of the joints. Consuming cherries has been shown in studies to reduce uric acid levels.
In one study women who ate two servings of cherries reduced uric acid levels five hours later 16.
Another study found gout attacks decreased 35% after people with gout ate cherries for two days. When the people in the study combined cherries with gout medication, their attacks decreased 75% 17.
Cherries may also:
- Improve sleep quality.
- Improve exercise recovery.
Both strawberries and cherries provide many health benefits. If you had to choose one for health let’s answer a common question. Are cherries or strawberries healthier?
Strawberries are healthier than cherries because they contain more vitamins and minerals.
Wrapping Up Cherries vs Strawberries
Cherries and strawberries are both great additions to a healthy lifestyle. Both fruits contain tons of vitamins and nutrients, which provide many health benefits to those who eat them 18.
Since they are simple to store and eat in various ways, they are easy to add to any diet.
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- New World Encyclopedia: Cherry
- The Old Farmer’s Almanac: Growing Cherries
- The University of Vermont: History of the Strawberry
- Nutrition Value: Strawberries, raw
- Nutrition Value: Cherries
- Iowa State University: Harvesting and Storing Small Fruits
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Using & Storing Strawberries
- Blood Pressure Explained: 30 Supplements To Lower Your Blood Pressure Proven To Work
- John Hopkins Medicine: Big Doses of Vitamin C May Lower Blood Pressure
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Low intake of fruits, berries and vegetables is associated with excess mortality in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Berry fruits for cancer prevention: current status and future prospects
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Antioxidant and anti proliferative activities of strawberries
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Cherry Antioxidants: From Farm to Table
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Potassium intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease a meta-analysis of prospective studies
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Consumption of cherries lowers plasma rate in health women
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Cherry Consumption and the Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries