Many questions people ask me as a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach are about healthy fruits. Strawberry and blueberry are often mentioned. A common question asked is which one is better, strawberries or blueberries?
Blueberries are better due to their higher percentage of protein, fiber and vitamins than strawberries. Blueberries contain 7,489 more antioxidants than strawberries per one cup serving. That equals 126% more antioxidants for blueberries.
This article will include a side-by-side nutrient comparison of both fruits. I’ll examine which is better for particular goals and take a look at their glycemic indexes, tastes, textures, prices and whether one can substitute for the other.
Strawberries vs Blueberries: Nutrient Comparison
The following table is a nutrient comparison of each one per 100 grams:
|Strawberries (100 grams)||Blueberries (100 grams)|
|Protein||0.67 g||0.74 g|
|Carbohydrates||7.68 g||14.50 g|
|Fiber||2.0 g||2.4 g|
|Fat||0.30 g||0.33 g|
|Sugar||4.89 g||9.96 g|
|Vitamin A||12 IU||54 IU|
|Vitamin C||58.8 mg||9.7 mg|
|Vitamin D||0 IU||0 IU|
|Vitamin B6||0.04 mg||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||24 mcg||6 mcg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.02 mg||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.02 mg||0.04 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.38 mg||0.41 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||0.12 mg||0.12 mg|
|Magnesium||13 mg||6 mg|
|Phosphorous||24 mg||12 mg|
|Potassium||153 mg||77 mg|
|Iron||0.41 mg||0.28 mg|
|Copper||0.05 mg||0.06 mg|
|Calcium||16 mg||6 mg|
|Zinc||0.14 mg||0.16 mg|
|Total antioxidants||5,938 (1 cup)||Wild: 13,427 (1 cup)
Cultivated: 9,019 (1 cup)
One of the most difficult questions to answer is which one is healthier because both fruits are nutrient dense. Therefore, let’s take a close look at which one is healthier.
Both are beneficial but blueberries are healthier than strawberries due to their higher percentage of protein, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Blueberries contain more vitamin A, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, copper and zinc. Wild or cultivated blueberries contain more antioxidants per one cup.
Strawberries are considered healthy also and provide a good number of nutrients. They provide a higher percentage of vitamin C, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and calcium. They contain fewer carbs and sugar than blueberries.
Both the berries are healthy with minimal amounts of fat and carbs.
Due to their healthiness, I purchase and use both berries all the time. I add them to my smoothies and protein shakes.
Let’s examine their macros and nutrients one by one and determine the difference between each fruit.
- Blueberries contain 78% more calories per 100 grams.
- Blueberries contain 10.4% more protein per 100 grams.
- Blueberries contain 89% more carbohydrates per 100 grams.
- Blueberries contain 20% more fiber per 100 grams.
- Blueberries contain 103% more sugar per 100 grams.
- Blueberries contain 350% more vitamin A per 100 grams.
- Strawberries contain 506% more vitamin C per 100 grams.
- Blueberries provide a higher percentage of B1, B2, B3 and B6.
The B vitamins provided include the following:
- B1 (thiamin)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B9 (folate)
- Strawberries contain 116% more magnesium per 100 grams.
- Strawberries contain 100% more phosphorus per 100 grams.
- Strawberries contain 99% more potassium per 100 grams.
- Strawberries contain 47% more iron per 100 grams.
- Blueberries contain 20% more copper per 100 grams.
- Strawberries contain 166% more calcium per 100 grams.
- Blueberries contain 14% more zinc per 100 grams.
There’s a big difference in antioxidants. Let’s find out how much more in percentages.
- Wild blueberries contain 126% more antioxidants per one cup.
- Cultivated blueberries contain 52% more antioxidants per one cup.
Berries are very high in antioxidants compared to other fruits and foods. Wild blueberry has the highest and cultivated blueberry has the 2nd most.
Below is a list showing the total number of antioxidants per cup in the different berries and fruit.
- Wild blueberries – 13,427
- Cultivated blueberries – 9,019
- Cranberries – 8,983
- Blackberries – 7,701
- Raspberries – 6,058
- Strawberries – 5,938
- Black plums – 4,873
- Sweet cherries – 4,873
- Red grapes – 2,016
Which to Choose?
Many people have particular goals which food plays a huge role in. Which fruit you choose may depend on your particular goal.
Therefore, in this section I examine the most common goals and determine which of the two fruits is the better choice for each one.
Weight Loss and Diet
The number of calories in each meal or snack can add up pretty quickly. If you’re looking to lose some extra pounds from the belly, the number of calories will matter to you.
Therefore, let’s examine which is better for weight loss.
- Strawberries are better for weight loss because they contain 82% fewer calories per one cup than blueberries. Strawberries contain 46 calories per one cup serving. Blueberries contain 84 calories per one cup serving.
Low Carb or Keto Diets
The goal of any Keto type diet is to take in the least amount of carbohydrates as possible. The numbers can be so limited every carbohydrate can make a difference by the end of the day.
Therefore, let’s examine which one has fewer carbohydrates.
- Strawberries are better for low-carb diets because they contain 93% fewer carbohydrates per one cup than blueberries. Strawberries contain 11.1 grams of carbohydrates per one cup serving. Blueberries contain 21.5 grams of carbohydrates per one cup.
Protein and carbs both play a role in bodybuilding. Protein helps to build and repair muscle after a good workout. Healthy carbohydrates help to fuel energy and increase performance when weight training or exercising.
If gaining lean muscle mass is your goal, then the amount of protein and carbohydrates will probably matter to you. Therefore, let’s take a look at which is better for bodybuilding.
- Blueberries are better for bodybuilding because they contain 14% more protein and 93% more carbohydrates per one cup serving than strawberries. They also contain more calories which may help when in a bulking phase to grow muscle.
On the days I lift weights at the gym, I often add both to my protein shakes which I mostly have after my workouts.
If the amount of sugar in your meals is important, you’ll want to know which one has more sugar.
- Blueberries have 109% more grams of sugar per one cup serving than strawberries. Blueberries contain 14.70 grams of sugar per one cup serving. Strawberries contain 7.04 grams of sugar per one cup serving.
For people who have celiac disease or wish to follow a gluten free diet the goal is clear cut, avoid gluten. Therefore, let’s examine which one is gluten free.
- Strawberry and blueberry are both gluten free and good for gluten free diets.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale measuring how fast a particular food raises the blood sugar in the blood 3. Blood sugar spikes can lead to health complications with the heart, nerves, kidneys and eyes.
Foods on the GI scale are categorized as:
- Low-GI foods: 55 or under
- Medium-GI foods: 56-69
- High-GI foods: 70 or over
How blood sugars levels are affected:
- Foods with a glycemic index 70 or more cause a quicker spike in blood sugar levels.
- Foods with a glycemic index 56 to 69 cause a moderate spike in blood sugar levels.
- Foods with a glycemic index 55 or less cause a slow spike in blood sugar levels.
Let’s examine which of the two has a lower glycemic index.
Strawberries have a lower glycemic index than blueberries although both are low-GI foods with glycemic scores fewer than 55. The following are the glycemic scores found in The University Of Sydney GI database:
- Strawberry, raw: 40
- Wild blueberry, raw: 53
Find out how Cherries compared in my article. Find out if they are considered equal or better.
Which Cost More?
The cost of food keeps rising and almost every trip to the supermarket seems to cost more and more money. Therefore, I’m sure the price of food matters to most people.
Let’s take a close look at which one is better for the price.
Blueberries cost 47% more than strawberries per ounce. Blueberries average cost per ounce is $0.28 and the average price for strawberries per ounce is $0.19.
To conduct my own research, I checked two different supermarkets located in my area. Both supermarkets are on different levels of pricing. Walmart is the most economical and Shoprite being more expensive.
Here are my findings, I first visited Walmart:
- Organic blueberry (frozen) – 10 oz $2.74 ($0.27 per ounce)
- Organic strawberry (frozen) – 16 oz $2.24 ($0.14 per ounce)
- Blueberry (frozen) – 12 oz $3.50 ($0.29 per ounce)
- Strawberry (frozen) – 12 oz $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce)
Generally speaking, there are more strawberries available, and they are easier to grow. This makes them cheaper to grow and distribute.
Blueberries are much less forgiving to grow. They are in higher demand but with less availability. This makes them generally more expensive, no matter where you happen to live.
Is Organic Worth The Extra Cost?
Organically grown vegetables and fruit are higher in vitamins and nutrients than their regularly grown varieties.
Organic fruits and vegetables are naturally grown without using any harmful pesticides, insecticides or other poisons that are ultimately harmful to humans.
Both fruits grown organically are much safer to eat. If you are eating these fruits for their nutritional value, the organic varieties are much more beneficial to your health.
For these reasons, organic is worth the extra cost compared to regular varieties. Especially for strawberries which have made number one on the dirty dozen foods list for six straight years 4. Read more about that important fact in the next section below.
Have you heard the organic variety has worms? Find out in my article here.
Which Fruit Contains The Most Pesticides?
Strawberries contain more pesticides than blueberries. They are the number one fruit or vegetable on the Environmental Working Group 2022 Dirty Dozen List. Blueberries are listed number fourteen. The list contains the top fruit and vegetables containing the highest traces of pesticides.
The following is the top 20 of the 2022 Dirty Dozen Foods List:
- Kale, collards and mustard greens
- Bell and hot peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Winter aquash
- Green beans
Strawberries have made number one on the list for the sixth year straight. Ninety percent of the fruit and vegetables tested positive for two or more pesticides 4. This is one of the main reasons why I always try to purchase organic fruit when shopping.
Taste and Texture
Sometimes all the goals listed above don’t matter and the taste and texture does. After all, if someone doesn’t like how a food tastes, they will probably leave it on the shelf.
Therefore, let’s examine how the taste and texture of both fruits compare.
Strawberries taste sweeter than blueberries which are sweet but also have blandness or tartness. Strawberries have a firmer texture than the softer, squishier blueberry. Strawberry provides a larger bite than the smaller blueberry. Both of them are juicy.
Both fruits increase in sweetness the riper they are.
I wanted to get the opinion of real people like you by conducting some original research. Therefore, I reached out to some members of food groups, my clients and readers. I asked, which one tastes better?
- 46% said they preferred the taste of strawberries.
- 38% said they preferred the taste of blueberries.
- 16% said they had no preference, or it depended on their mood.
I also participated in my own blind taste test. I had blended each fruit separately into two different smoothies. I chose the drink containing the strawberries.
In the battle of taste, strawberry was found to taste better and was the winner in the poll and in my own taste test.
If you’re wondering which ones are the sweetest, check out my blog post on the subject, A Guide To Blueberry Types And Taste.
Sometimes people want to substitute one food for the other due to availability, taste or price. This makes people wonder if they can substitute on for the other.
Blueberries and strawberries can substitute for each other although the flavor will differ. They are great substitutes when making jam, muffins, pies or jelly. When substituting one for the other, use a 1:1 ratio and the preparation and cooking times should be similar.
Food Pairings for blueberries:
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Other fruits
Blueberries can be used for the following recipes or dishes:
- Any baking product.
- Ice cream
If you’re baking with them, you’ll want to know if you can use frozen without thawing. Find out in my article, Should You Thaw Blueberries Before Baking?
Food pairings for strawberries:
- Milk, dark or white chocolate.
- Other fruits.
- Add to a salad.
- Balsamic vinegar.
Strawberries can be used for the following recipes or dishes:
- Ice cream
- Raw snack
Did you know some taste better than others? I wrote a blog post on it which you can check out here, 5 Strawberries That Have The Best Taste.
Storing Strawberries and Blueberries
Both of them react very similarly to heat, cold, moisture and freezing. Therefore, the proper way to store both of these foods is the same.
They will stay fresh outside of the refrigerator or freezer. Therefore, if you intend using them soon after bringing them home, keeping them on the counter for a few hours will not damage them.
Will they ripen on the counter? Read my blog post here, Will Strawberries Ripen on the Counter?
To keep them fresh for about a week in the refrigerator, do not wash them before refrigerating 5. Extra moisture on the fruit will cause them to become very soft, making them feel over-ripe.
Preferably, wash either one just before eating them and keep them in the refrigerator while dry.
Leaving the strawberry stems intact helps keep them firm on the inside and helps prolong their life-span when stored in the refrigerator.
Both fruits may be stored for extended periods by freezing them. Frozen fruits will last much longer than refrigerated fruits. They may stay good up to a year in the freezer.
They can be stored the same way but can you actually store them together? Find out in my article, here.
Blueberry Health Benefits
This section will examine the health benefits based on their nutrient profile.
The purple fruit provides a little more protein. Protein may help benefit the following:
- Reduce appetite
- Build and repair muscle
- Boost metabolism
- Weight loss
Fiber is helpful for many reasons 6.
Fiber is known for the following:
- Manage the blood glucose levels which helps decrease the risk of diabetes.
- Helps avoid constipation and have a more regular stool.
- Help overall digestive health.
- Aids greatly in weight management because it allows you to feel full faster and eat less.
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
The purple fruit provides 350% more vitamin A and contains more beta carotene.
The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce cellular damage by controlling the negative effects of free radicals 7.
An increased number of vitamin A has been shown to fight and prevent cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States 8.
Vitamin A also helps:
- Eye health
- Cognitive function
- Cancer protection
- Skin protection
The B vitamins provided help support the following 9:
- Nerve function.
- Red blood cells.
- Brain function.
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Energy levels.
Antioxidants and Mental Health
Approximately, blueberries have twice the number of antioxidants and are a good source. This is what gives them their edge. Why are antioxidants so important? They help fight disease by preventing and repairing stress from oxidation 10.
During oxidation, cells become damaged and turns into free radicals. Free radicals will cause more damage to cells. The more damage to your body’s tissue can lead to a number of diseases like the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease and Mental Health
One of the ways to battle free radicals and oxidative stress is to increase the number of antioxidants. Of all the foods high in antioxidants berries are on the top of the fruit category. Blueberries top the list of fruits and berries.
The top 11 foods on the USDA Top Antioxidant List are the following:
- Small red beans
- Wild blueberries
- Red kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Cultivated blueberries
Examining antioxidant health blueberries are hard to beat.
Strawberry Health Benefits
Strawberry are also beneficial for providing its own health benefits.
They provide over double the amount of magnesium. The magnesium provided helps the body control the following:
- High blood pressure
- Nerve function
- Muscle function
- Blood sugar
Magnesium helps keep blood pressure levels stable and balanced. Recent scientific research examined previous studies and concluded magnesium supplementation decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure 11.
Many people supplement with magnesium in the evening because it helps calm the whole body including blood vessels.
They have double the amount of potassium. According to Harvard Health, a number of studies have shown a connection between low potassium levels and high blood pressure 12. Potassium helps reduce the sodium in the body.
Potassium helps the body reduce excess fluid therefore reducing blood pressure. This is all beneficial for heart health.
Some medical experts recommend the potassium to sodium ratio of 4:1. Consuming not enough potassium or too much sodium throws off the delicate balance the kidneys need to remove the excess water 13.
They provide almost 50% more iron. Why is this important?
Iron is a necessary part of any healthy diet 14 and may help with the following:
- Help the immune system.
- Is essential the creation of red blood cells.
- Help some hormones remain balanced.
- Vital for growth and development.
They provide over 100% more calcium. Calcium helps the following:
- Helps nerve function.
- Help the muscles to function properly.
- Build and maintain strong bones.
In addition, calcium is important for the heart and blood pressure. Harvard Health reports calcium helps maintain blood pressure by helping in the controlling of the relaxing and tightening of blood vessels 15.
Vitamin C is required by the body for normal growth and development. Vitamin C helps with the growth and repair of the following:
- Blood vessels
Vitamin C promotes the development of scar tissue as well. In addition, Vitamin C helps the body to correctly absorb iron.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant helping to prevent the damage caused to the body by free radicals. Free radicals are big influencers in the body’s aging processes and may be a cause of cancers, heart disease and arthritis.
Can You Eat Them Everyday?
We have established both of these berries are extremely beneficial to you. You might be wondering whether or not it is a good idea to eat one or both of these every day. Let’s take a look.
Strawberries and blueberries can be included in the total servings of recommended fruits per day. The American Heart Association recommends four servings or two cups of fruit per day 16. They don’t state which specific fruit.
Fresh fruit is a healthy part of any nutrition plan as long as its consumed in moderation. It’s always best to eat a wide variety of different fruits to gain the benefits and nutrients of all them combined.
The popular mediterranean diet recommends eating fruit everyday but doesn’t specify which fruit or how much.
As with any nutrition plan, always check with your physician and be guided by their recommendations.
If you have any questions about this article don’t hesitate to email us. You can find an email on our contact page.
Read More Strawberry and Blueberry Articles
- USDA: Strawberries, raw
- USDA: Blueberries, raw
- Harvard Health Publishing: Glycemic index for 60+ foods
- EWG: Dirty Dozen
- University of Kentucky: Kentucky Blueberries
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Mechanisms linking dietary fiber, gut microbiota and colon cancer prevention
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Antioxidant potentials of vitamin A and carotenoids and their relevance to heart disease
- Harvard T.H. Chan: B Vitamins
- FDA: Can Antioxidant Foods Forestall Aging?
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis
- Harvard Health: Potassium lowers blood pressure
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Effect of the Sodium to Potassium Ratio on Hypertension Prevalence: A Propensity Score Matching Approach
- National Institutes of Health: Iron
- Harvard Health: Key minerals to help control blood pressure
- The American Heart Association: The American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations