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Blackberry vs. Elderberry — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on July 31, 2023
Medically reviewed by Victoria Mazmanyan Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Blackberry
vs
Elderberry

Summary

Elderberries are higher in calories and 2 times richer in carbohydrates, including both net carbs and dietary fiber. It also contains 8 times more vitamin B6 and 3 times more vitamins B1 and A and iron.

Blackberry is 4 times richer in folate and magnesium5 times higher in zinc, and 3 times higher in copper. 

Introduction

This article compares the nutritional profile and health impact of raw blackberry and elderberry (1, 2).

Sambucus nigra, known as European elderberry, is common in many parts of the world. It has black or blue-black berries and creamy flowers. Elderberry flowers and berries are used in folk medicine for pain relief and as a laxative and diuretic (3). Moreover, flowers are used for making sweet syrup. It is common to prepare juice, jams, and wine from elderberries.

Blackberry is a sweet, slightly tart berry from the family Rosaceae. It is commonly consumed raw as an additive to baked food products or ice cream. Blackberry is often used for making jams and juice.

The taste of elderberries is also often described as sweet and tart but with a slightly floral undertone. 

Nutrition

The nutritional infographics below are presented for 100g servings of raw elderberries and blackberries.

However, one average serving size of these berries per person is considered one cup, weighing about 145g.

Macronutrients

Elderberry is slightly denser in nutrients, consisting of 80% water and 20% nutrients, while blackberry is made up of 88% water and 12% nutrients.

The main macronutrient found in both these berries is carbohydrates - 18% for elderberry and 10% for blackberry.

The amounts of nutrients these foods provide are shown below.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +110.6%
Contains more Water +10.5%
Contains more Carbs +91.5%
Contains more Other +77.8%
Equal in Fats - 0.5
Equal in Water - 79.8
10% 88%
Protein: 1.39 g
Fats: 0.49 g
Carbs: 9.61 g
Water: 88.15 g
Other: 0.36 g
18% 80%
Protein: 0.66 g
Fats: 0.5 g
Carbs: 18.4 g
Water: 79.8 g
Other: 0.64 g
Contains more Protein +110.6%
Contains more Water +10.5%
Contains more Carbs +91.5%
Contains more Other +77.8%
Equal in Fats - 0.5
Equal in Water - 79.8

Calories

Blackberry and elderberry are plant products and low-calorie foods. However, elderberry is higher in calories by 30 calories per 100g.

Carbs

Elderberry is 2 times higher in carbs, providing 18.4g per 100g serving, while the same serving of blackberry has 9.6g of carbohydrates.

Both berries are excellent sources of dietary fiber; however, elderberry provides 1.7g more dietary fiber per 100g than blackberry,

Elderberry is rich in soluble fiber. It falls in the top 15% of foods as a source of dietary fiber.

Blackberry is lower in net carbs: 100g has 4.3g of net carbs, while the same quantity of elderberry contains 11.4g.

Protein

These two berries do not contain much protein. Still, blackberry is 2 times higher in proteins than elderberry.

Fats

Both berries have negligible amounts of fats - 0.5 of fat per 100g. Blackberry and elderberry do not contain any amount of cholesterol.

Vitamins

Blackberry and elderberry are rich in different vitamins.

Elderberries are an excellent source of vitamin C: they are higher in vitamin C (36mg per 100g) than blackberries (21mg per 100g).

Blackberry is 4 times richer in folate and higher in vitamins B3 and B5, while elderberry provides more vitamins B1, B2, B6, and A.

Elderberry contains 8 times more vitamin B6 and 3 times more vitamins B1 and A.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin B3 +29.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +97.1%
Contains more Folate +316.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +180.4%
Contains more Vitamin C +71.4%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +250%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +130.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +666.7%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 13% 24% 0% 70% 5% 6% 13% 17% 7% 19% 0% 5% 50%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 36% 0% 0% 120% 18% 14% 10% 9% 54% 5% 0% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +29.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +97.1%
Contains more Folate +316.7%
Contains more Vitamin A +180.4%
Contains more Vitamin C +71.4%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +250%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +130.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +666.7%

Minerals

Blackberry is 5 times higher in zinc4 times higher in magnesium, and 3 times higher in copper. Elderberry is also lower in sodium.

Elderberry is 3 times richer in iron and overall richer in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

You can compare the mineral composition of these two berries in the chart below.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Magnesium +300%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Zinc +381.8%
Contains more Copper +170.5%
Contains more Calcium +31%
Contains more Iron +158.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +77.3%
Contains more Potassium +72.8%
Contains more Selenium +50%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 9% 24% 15% 10% 15% 1% 15% 56% 85% 3%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 12% 60% 4% 17% 25% 1% 3% 21% 0% 4%
Contains more Magnesium +300%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Zinc +381.8%
Contains more Copper +170.5%
Contains more Calcium +31%
Contains more Iron +158.1%
Contains more Phosphorus +77.3%
Contains more Potassium +72.8%
Contains more Selenium +50%

Health impact

Cardiovascular health

Both elderberries and blackberries promote cardiovascular health by providing different phytochemicals.

Elderberries have shown beneficial effects by lowering blood fat and cholesterol levels (4). They are also antioxidants, reducing uric acid levels in the bloodstream (5). A high uric acid content may increase blood pressure and harm the cardiovascular system (6).

Thus, elderberries can help prevent the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus (5).

Blackberries are packed with vitamin K, essential for blood clothing (7). Moreover, blackberries have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities (8, 9).

Cancer

Elderberries have shown anticancer properties in some test-tube studies (10). However, human studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Blackberries may reduce the formation of carcinogens in the organism by their vitamin C content (11).

Downsides

Besides the health benefits described above, blackberries and elderberries may also have harmful effects on your health.

The unripe seeds and raw berries of the elderberry tree contain some amounts of cyanide - a dangerous toxin that harms the electron transport chain and energy synthesis in the organism (12). Symptoms of consuming raw elderberries can be diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

In some cases, such as post-bowel surgery, it is recommended to follow a low-fiber diet. Being high-fiber foods, blackberries and elderberries should be excluded from the diet (13).

Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: July 31, 2023
Medically reviewed by Victoria Mazmanyan

Infographic

Blackberry vs Elderberry infographic
Infographic link

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -39.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +13.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +70.2%
4% 14% 82%
Saturated Fat: 0.014 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.047 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.28 g
7% 23% 71%
Saturated Fat: 0.023 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.08 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.247 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -39.1%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +13.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +70.2%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Blackberry Elderberry
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Blackberry Elderberry Opinion
Net carbs 4.31g 11.4g Elderberry
Protein 1.39g 0.66g Blackberry
Fats 0.49g 0.5g Elderberry
Carbs 9.61g 18.4g Elderberry
Calories 43kcal 73kcal Elderberry
Fructose 2.4g Blackberry
Sugar 4.88g Elderberry
Fiber 5.3g 7g Elderberry
Calcium 29mg 38mg Elderberry
Iron 0.62mg 1.6mg Elderberry
Magnesium 20mg 5mg Blackberry
Phosphorus 22mg 39mg Elderberry
Potassium 162mg 280mg Elderberry
Sodium 1mg 6mg Blackberry
Zinc 0.53mg 0.11mg Blackberry
Copper 0.165mg 0.061mg Blackberry
Manganese 0.646mg Blackberry
Selenium 0.4µg 0.6µg Elderberry
Vitamin A 214IU 600IU Elderberry
Vitamin A RAE 11µg 30µg Elderberry
Vitamin E 1.17mg Blackberry
Vitamin C 21mg 36mg Elderberry
Vitamin B1 0.02mg 0.07mg Elderberry
Vitamin B2 0.026mg 0.06mg Elderberry
Vitamin B3 0.646mg 0.5mg Blackberry
Vitamin B5 0.276mg 0.14mg Blackberry
Vitamin B6 0.03mg 0.23mg Elderberry
Folate 25µg 6µg Blackberry
Choline 8.5mg Blackberry
Vitamin K 19.8µg Blackberry
Tryptophan 0.013mg Elderberry
Threonine 0.027mg Elderberry
Isoleucine 0.027mg Elderberry
Leucine 0.06mg Elderberry
Lysine 0.026mg Elderberry
Methionine 0.014mg Elderberry
Phenylalanine 0.04mg Elderberry
Valine 0.033mg Elderberry
Histidine 0.015mg Elderberry
Saturated Fat 0.014g 0.023g Blackberry
Monounsaturated Fat 0.047g 0.08g Elderberry
Polyunsaturated fat 0.28g 0.247g Blackberry

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Blackberry Elderberry
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
17%
Blackberry
20%
Elderberry
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
23%
Blackberry
14%
Elderberry

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Elderberry
Elderberry is lower in Sugar (difference - 4.88g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Elderberry
Elderberry is lower in glycemic index (difference - 25)
Which food is cheaper?
Elderberry
Elderberry is cheaper (difference - $0.3)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Blackberry
Blackberry contains less Sodium (difference - 5mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Blackberry
Blackberry is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.009g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Blackberry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173946/nutrients
  2. Elderberry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171727/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.