Cherry vs Cranberry - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Externally, cherries and cranberries may look quite similar, but nutritionally they don’t have much in common. Fresh cherries and cranberries are seasonal fruits, however, frozen versions can be found in grocery stores through winter.
Fully ripe cranberries turn a deep red, while those that unripe are pale pink or white color. Cherries are heart-shaped to nearly globular and vary in color from yellow through red to nearly black.
Cranberries belong to the family Ericaceae. The taste of cranberries is as tart as lemons, because of their low sugar content. There are more than 100 varieties of cranberries, of which the most famous are; Ben Lear, Crimson Queen, and Early Black. Cherry is the fruit of many plants which belong to the genus Prunus. The taste of cherries is sweet with a touch of acidity. The most common cherries types are Big Cherries (sweet cherry), Rainier Cherries, Queen Cherries, and Montmorency Cherries.
Cranberries are used in making cranberries juice or can be cooked into jelly and compote. They also can be used in making muffins, cakes, and bread. Several alcoholic cocktails, such as Cosmopolitan are made from cranberry juice.
Cherry is used as food and medicine. In the culinary world, cherries are often used in desserts, jams, salads, cakes, and so on.
In this section of the article, we are going to discuss the nutritional data of cranberry and cherry focusing on the differences.
You can find nutrition infographics at the bottom of this page that visually show the differences between these products.
The amounts of protein and carbs are almost equal in these fruits. However, cherries contain more mono- and polyunsaturated fat, but cranberries contain more fiber and less sugar. Both fruits contain no cholesterol.
Both fruits are packed with different vitamins in different amounts. Cherries contain 19 times more Vitamin A, 7 times more Folate, and 2 times more Vitamin B3 than cranberries. The levels of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B1, are also higher in cherry. On the other hand, cranberries contain 17 times more Vitamin E and 2 times more Vitamin K. Cranberries are also richer in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and B5.
Cherry is relatively higher in minerals than cranberry. It has 2 times more potassium, more calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus than cranberry. It is important to highlight that cranberries have less sodium than cherries. Both have an equal amount of zinc.
The glycemic index of cherry is lower than that of cranberry. The GI of cherry is equal to 22, cranberry has a GI equal to 45 .
On average, the acidity of cranberries is lower than that of cherry, which means cranberries are more acidic. Cherry has a pH equal to 3, whereas cranberry has a pH equal to 1.3.
Cherries have a few more calories than watermelon. It has 50 calories per 100 g, while cranberry has 46 calories per 100 g.
Cherries are low in calories, also they are rich in vitamins and have a moderate water content, which means they can help to flushes out the toxins from your body. According to studies, cherries can help to reduce overall fat levels and the risk of diseases associated with a high-fat diet, including type-2 diabetes and heart disease .
Cranberries alone can never make you lose weight, nevertheless, they are low in calories, rich in fiber, and can be included in your diets.
Cherries are rich in strong antioxidants, such as polyphenols, anthocyanins, and flavonols, which may play an important role in fighting against cellular damage and keep your heart healthy. One study showed that a high intake of polyphenols is connected with decreasing the risk of heart disease . Cranberries are also high in antioxidants that may be beneficial for heart health. According to studies, cranberry juice can help to lower the level of LDL cholesterol and decrease stiffness in blood vessels among people with heart disease .
Cranberries contain high levels of PACS, which may help keep glucose levels balanced. Research shows that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice helps people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels . Cherries could be a healthy part of your diabetic diet, due to their high content of vitamin C and potassium. According to the rat study, the extract of cherries can be useful in controlling blood glucose levels, also cherries appear to aid in diabetes control .
Based on several studies, antioxidants found in cherries may help to slow the growth of cancer cells. Moreover, they are rich in melatonin, which shows cancer-preventive potential in laboratory studies. The animal study showed that these compounds reduced the growth of colon cancer cells in mice. However, more research is needed .
Cranberry phytocompounds also have a strong protective effect against cancer. Studies show that proanthocyanidins seem to influence gene expression to decrease the growth of cancer cells and increase their self-destruction .
Both cherries and cranberries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds can help combat oxidative stress that leads to several multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, and so on.
In addition, cherries are high in carotenoid pigments such as beta-carotene and Vitamin C, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well.
According to the study, eating cherries reduce inflammation in 70 % of cases .
Using cherry juice in large amounts can lead to indigestion and diarrhea. Besides, cherries contain sorbitol, which may exacerbate symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome or fructose malabsorption.
Most kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate, so excessive amounts of oxalate in your urine are one of the main risk factors. Cranberries contain high levels of oxalates. Therefore, they are considered a risk factor for kidney stones when consumed in high amounts .
Allergy to fruits like cherries is often called “pollen-food syndrome”. The symptoms of this allergy commonly include itchy on the mouth and face upon eating raw or fresh fruit.
Cranberries are rich in salicylic acid, a chemical that is also found in aspirin. Therefore people who are allergic or sensitive to aspirin may also have an allergy to cranberries. The symptoms often include a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, itching or skin rashes, and stomach pain  .
In summary, cherry is richer in minerals, contains 19 times more Vitamin A, 7 times more Folate, and also has a lower GI than cranberry. Cranberries have 17 times more Vitamin A, 2 times more Vitamin K, and contain low sugar and sodium than cherry.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values