Blueberries and raspberries are both low-calorie, high-nutrient foods than can liven up your meals with flavor and color without adding excess flesh to your waistline. They can help you boost your antioxidant intake, with blueberries providing more flavonoids and raspberries higher in antioxidant vitamins. To decide which berry can do more for you, consider the benefits each provides. Adding both of them to your diet may be your best bet.
Blueberries and raspberries are rich in flavonoids, plant-based pigments that act as antioxidants, but blueberries contain significantly more. Both provide abundant anthocyanidins, a type of flavonoid that benefits immunity and may reduce your risk of illness. For each 100 grams of food content, a cup of blueberries has 7 milligrams of cyanidin, 31 milligrams of delphinidin, 60 milligrams of malvidin, 15 milligrams of peonidin and 28 milligrams of petunidin. Although blueberries have 37 milligrams of cyanidin per 100 grams, they contain less than 2 milligrams of each of the other anthocyanidins.
If you are watching your weight, raspberries give you a slight edge over blueberries. A cup of blueberries has 84 calories and a gram of protein, while a cup of raspberries has 64 calories and 1.5 grams of protein. Blueberries have 15 grams of sugar per cup, nearly tripling the sugar content of a cup of raspberries. Raspberries can help you feel full longer after a meal or snack, as each cup provides 8 grams of fiber, while a cup of blueberries has 3.5 grams of fiber.
Vitamins C, E and K
Raspberries are higher in antioxidant vitamins than blueberries. A cup of raspberries has 32 milligrams of vitamin C and 1 milligram of vitamin E, providing nearly half the vitamin C you need daily and 7 percent of your recommended daily intake for vitamin E. A cup of blueberries gives you about half as much vitamin C and less than a milligram of vitamin E. If you are trying to increase your intake of vitamin K, a nutrient that helps your blood clot properly, blueberries are superior to raspberries. A cup of blueberries provides one-third of your daily requirement for vitamin K, while a cup of raspberries provides about one-ninth.
Although berries are not high in essential minerals, raspberries are much richer in them than blueberries. A cup of raspberries has twice as much calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc as blueberries, providing 5 to 10 percent of your recommended daily intake for each of these nutrients. Getting an adequate intake of these minerals helps keep your bones and teeth strong and your nervous system functioning properly. It also helps keep your muscles, organs and blood healthy.
Maia Appleby is a NASM-certified personal trainer with more than 15 years of experience in the fitness industry. Her articles have been published in a wide variety of print magazines and online publications, including the Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, New Moon Network and Bodybuilding.com.