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Cranberry vs. Cherry — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 21, 2021
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan
Cranberry
vs
Cherry

Summary

Cherry is richer in minerals, contains 19 times more Vitamin A, seven times more Folate, and has a lower GI than cranberry. Cranberries have 17 times more Vitamin A, two times more Vitamin K, and contain low sugar and sodium than cherry.

Introduction

Externally, cherries and cranberries may look quite similar, but they don’t have much in common nutritionally. Fresh cherries and cranberries are seasonal fruits; however, you can find frozen versions in grocery stores through winter.

Fully ripe cranberries turn a deep red, while unripe ones are pale pink or white color. Cherries are heart-shaped to nearly globular and vary in color from yellow through red to nearly black.

Varieties

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.

Uses

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. Cherries are often used in desserts, jams, salads, cakes, etc.

Nutrition

In this section of the article, we will 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.

Micronutrients

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.

Vitamins

Both fruits contain different vitamins in different amounts. Cherries contain 19 times more Vitamin A, seven times more Folate, and two 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 two times more Vitamin K. Cranberries are also richer in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and B5.

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.
:
6
Cherry
Contains more Vitamin E +1785.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +40%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +106.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +29.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +138.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +1936.5%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +150%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +100%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +296%
Contains more Folate +700%
Contains more Choline +10.9%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 4% 27% 0% 47% 3% 5% 2% 18% 14% 1% 0% 3% 13%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 77% 2% 0% 34% 8% 10% 8% 9% 11% 6% 0% 4% 6%
Contains more Vitamin E +1785.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +40%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +106.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +29.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +138.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +1936.5%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +150%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +100%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +296%
Contains more Folate +700%
Contains more Choline +10.9%

Minerals

Cherry is relatively higher in minerals than cranberry. It has two times more potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus than cranberry. It is essential to highlight that cranberries have less sodium than cherries. Both have an equal amount of zinc.

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 less Sodium -33.3%
Contains more Manganese +138.4%
Contains more Selenium +∞%
Contains more Calcium +100%
Contains more Iron +39.1%
Contains more Magnesium +50%
Contains more Phosphorus +36.4%
Contains more Potassium +116.3%
Contains more Zinc +11.1%
Contains more Copper +85.7%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 3% 9% 5% 5% 8% 1% 3% 19% 35% 1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 12% 7% 7% 16% 1% 3% 35% 15% 0%
Contains less Sodium -33.3%
Contains more Manganese +138.4%
Contains more Selenium +∞%
Contains more Calcium +100%
Contains more Iron +39.1%
Contains more Magnesium +50%
Contains more Phosphorus +36.4%
Contains more Potassium +116.3%
Contains more Zinc +11.1%
Contains more Copper +85.7%

Glycemic Index

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 [1].

Acidity

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.

Calories

Cherries have a few more calories than watermelon. It has 50 calories per 100 g, while cranberry has 46 calories per 100 g.

Health Impact

Weight Loss

Cherries are low in calories; they are also rich in vitamins and have a moderate water content, which means they can help flush out the toxins from your body. According to studies, cherries can help reduce overall fat levels and the risk of diseases associated with a high-fat diet, including type-2 diabetes and heart disease [2].

Cranberries alone can never make you lose weight; nevertheless, they are low in calories, rich in fiber, and can be included in your diet.

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Cherries are rich in powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols, anthocyanins, and flavonols, which may play an essential role in fighting against cellular damage and keeping your heart healthy. One study showed that a high intake of polyphenols is connected to decreasing heart disease risk [3]. 

Both of these products contain flavonols, which may reduce cardiovascular mortality, especially in men with diabetes, hypertension, and male smokers, although more research is needed [4,5]

Сherry and cranberry also have antihypertensive and antiatherogenic effects due to the presence of flavonoids in them and may protect the heart from ischemia damage [6]. 

Cranberries are also high in antioxidants that may be beneficial for heart health. According to studies, cranberry juice can help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol is an integral component of atherosclerotic plaque) levels and decrease stiffness in blood vessels among people with heart disease [7]. It lowers LDL levels, thereby reducing coronary heart disease risk.
 

Diabetes

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 [8]. Cherries could be a healthy part of your diabetic diet due to their high vitamin C and potassium content. According to the rat study, the extract of cherries can help control blood glucose levels; also, cherries appear to aid in diabetes control [9].

Cancer

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 [10].

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 [11].

Anti-inflammatory Effect

Both cherries and cranberries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds can help combat oxidative stress, leading to multiple chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, etc.

In addition, cherries are high in carotenoid pigments such as beta-carotene and Vitamin C, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

According to the study, eating cherries reduce inflammation in 70 % of cases [12].

Side Effects

Using cherry juice in large amounts can lead to indigestion and diarrhea. Besides, cherries contain sorbitol, which may exacerbate symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome or fructose malabsorption.

Kidney Stones

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 [13].

Allergy

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 and 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 [14] [15].

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 21, 2021
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan

Infographic

Cranberry vs Cherry infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +117.4%
Contains more Fats +130.8%
Contains more Other +225%
Equal in Carbs - 12.18
Equal in Water - 86.13
12% 87%
Protein: 0.46 g
Fats: 0.13 g
Carbs: 11.97 g
Water: 87.32 g
Other: 0.12 g
12% 86%
Protein: 1 g
Fats: 0.3 g
Carbs: 12.18 g
Water: 86.13 g
Other: 0.39 g
Contains more Protein +117.4%
Contains more Fats +130.8%
Contains more Other +225%
Equal in Carbs - 12.18
Equal in Water - 86.13

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -88.2%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +355.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +63.6%
10% 22% 68%
Saturated Fat: 0.008 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.018 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.055 g
28% 34% 38%
Saturated Fat: 0.068 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.082 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.09 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -88.2%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +355.6%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +63.6%

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Sucrose +400%
Contains more Glucose +21.5%
Contains more Fructose +423.9%
4% 81% 16%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0.16 g
Glucose: 3.44 g
Fructose: 0.67 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
9% 49% 41%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0.8 g
Glucose: 4.18 g
Fructose: 3.51 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Sucrose +400%
Contains more Glucose +21.5%
Contains more Fructose +423.9%

Comparison summary table

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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Cranberry Cherry Opinion
Net carbs 8.37g 10.58g Cherry
Protein 0.46g 1g Cherry
Fats 0.13g 0.3g Cherry
Carbs 11.97g 12.18g Cherry
Calories 46kcal 50kcal Cherry
Fructose 0.67g 3.51g Cherry
Sugar 4.27g 8.49g Cranberry
Fiber 3.6g 1.6g Cranberry
Calcium 8mg 16mg Cherry
Iron 0.23mg 0.32mg Cherry
Magnesium 6mg 9mg Cherry
Phosphorus 11mg 15mg Cherry
Potassium 80mg 173mg Cherry
Sodium 2mg 3mg Cranberry
Zinc 0.09mg 0.1mg Cherry
Copper 0.056mg 0.104mg Cherry
Manganese 0.267mg 0.112mg Cranberry
Selenium 0.1µg 0µg Cranberry
Vitamin A 63IU 1283IU Cherry
Vitamin A RAE 3µg 64µg Cherry
Vitamin E 1.32mg 0.07mg Cranberry
Vitamin C 14mg 10mg Cranberry
Vitamin B1 0.012mg 0.03mg Cherry
Vitamin B2 0.02mg 0.04mg Cherry
Vitamin B3 0.101mg 0.4mg Cherry
Vitamin B5 0.295mg 0.143mg Cranberry
Vitamin B6 0.057mg 0.044mg Cranberry
Folate 1µg 8µg Cherry
Choline 5.5mg 6.1mg Cherry
Vitamin K 5µg 2.1µg Cranberry
Tryptophan 0.003mg Cranberry
Threonine 0.028mg Cranberry
Isoleucine 0.033mg Cranberry
Leucine 0.053mg Cranberry
Lysine 0.039mg Cranberry
Methionine 0.003mg Cranberry
Phenylalanine 0.036mg Cranberry
Valine 0.045mg Cranberry
Histidine 0.018mg Cranberry
Saturated Fat 0.008g 0.068g Cranberry
Monounsaturated Fat 0.018g 0.082g Cherry
Polyunsaturated fat 0.055g 0.09g Cherry

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Cranberry Cherry
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
10%
Cranberry
13%
Cherry
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
8%
Cranberry
10%
Cherry

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Cranberry
Cranberry is lower in Sugar (difference - 4.22g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Cranberry
Cranberry contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Cranberry
Cranberry is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.06g)
Which food is cheaper?
Cranberry
Cranberry is cheaper (difference - $0.6)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Cherry
Cherry is lower in glycemic index (difference - 23)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Cherry
Cherry is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
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. Cranberry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171722/nutrients
  2. Cherry - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173954/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.