Is Cherry a Berry or a Fruit?

Overview

Is cherry a berry or a fruit? This is a much-debated question as cherries appear to have properties of both. While cherries are closer in size and appearance to berries, they are in fact classified as a fruit.

Berries

A berry is a small, fleshy fruit produced by a single ovary. They do not contain a stone or a pit, but dozens of seeds can be found embedded into the skin. Peppers, which are classified as a berry, have space between the skin and the seed-filled center rather than the soft pulp usually found in berries such as blackberries and raspberries.

Berries are rich in antioxidants that reduce harmful free radicals which often lead to cancer and other serious illnesses. They are also known to include a wide variety of vitamins considered to aid in disease prevention, anti-aging and improved eyesight.

Fruit

Fruit is the ripened, edible, seed-bearing ovary of a plant. Most fruits are grown on trees and emanate frm pollinated flowers. Examples include apples, oranges, tomatoes grapes and bananas.

Fruit is low in calories and contains many important vitamins and antioxidants. It is rich in fiber, vitamin C and folic acid. These vitamins aid in the prevention of cancer, the reduction of cardiovascular diseases and the improvement of immune system health. It has also been found that diets rich in fruit aid in the reduction of kidney stones and the prevention of bone loss due to their high concentration of potassium.

Conclusion

Is a cherry a berry or a fruit? Since a cherry contains a single hard stone in the center of its fruit, it can therefore not be categorized as a berry. It also grows heartily on trees, rather than bushes as berries do.

Regardless of its classification, cherries are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folic acid. Cherries also contain melatonin which is considered an important vitamin for anti-aging benefits, preventing memory loss and regulating sleep patterns.

References

Berry Health Benefits Network, Health and Healing Fact Sheets, 2009

Encarta Dictionary, Cherry, 2009

United States Department of Agriculture, Why is it important to eat fruit?, February 2011

Indiana Public Media – A Moment of Science, What is a Fruit, Really?, June 2006


Beau Giannini
Beau Giannini

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