Berries are a delight every summer, all over the world. While most grow naturally and occur in the wild, there are also a few hybrid varieties that have been carefully developed over the years through crosses. Boysenberry is one such hybrid berry usually found freshly harvested at the nearby farmers market. Boysenberries, rich in vitamins and antioxidants, help improve your health in several ways. Read on to learn about their nutritional facts, health benefits, flavor profile, and different ways to include them in your diet.
What is Boysenberry?
Boysenberry is a large, juicy, dark purple berry that looks like a bunch of small grapes. It is a hybrid fruit developed by crossing loganberry, dewberry, raspberry and blackberry by Rudolph Boysen in Anaheim, California, in the 1920s. These berries are soft and fragile and do not transport well. These also tend to spoil very quickly, so they need to be harvested and consumed quickly. With their slightly sweet yet spicy taste you can enjoy them fresh as a healthy snack or use them in delicious jams, jellies, sauces, syrups and pie fillings.
Let’s take a closer look at its nutritional value in the next section.
According to the USDA, a cup of frozen, thawed boysenberries contains the following nutrients (1).
|Total lipid (fat)||0.343 grams|
|Selenium, Se||0.264 µg|
|folic acid||83.2 µg|
|Vitamin b12||0 µg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||3.96 µg|
|carotene, beta||52.8 µg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||10.3 µg|
Boysenberries are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and dietary fiber. It also contains essential B vitamins and folic acid that play important roles in cellular mechanisms and brain development. In addition, a cup of berries contains about 200 mg of potassium and only 1.3 mg of sodium, which is essentially good for your cardiovascular health.
Later in the article, we’ll understand how these nutrients translate into some important health benefits for you.
Potential Health Benefits of Boysenberry
- May help promote lung health
The polyphenols and antioxidants in boysenberry may have a positive effect on lung health. Research states that regular consumption of boysenberry juice can moderate chronic pulmonary fibrosis in asthma and other chronic lung conditions (2). A recent study in 2021 also suggests that drinking boyberry concentrate and apple juice may help reduce pneumonia and tissue damage (3).
- Can help support your heart health
Boysenberries are rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (4). A few animal studies suggest that boysenberry juice consumption can significantly lower blood pressure and serum triglyceride levels (5), (6). Another study suggested that boysenberry juice may help maintain the thickness of the endothelial cell walls, allowing normal blood flow and pressure (7).
Boysenberry is also packed with anthocyanins, the pigmented flavonoids with antioxidant properties that give them their rich, vibrant color.
Research has shown that anthocyanins can help prevent neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases related to oxidative stress (8). These flavonoids may also help strengthen your vision and reduce the risk of cancer (9).
According to another study, boysenberry seed oil was found to have the strongest oxygen radical absorption capacity compared to blueberry, red raspberry and marionberry seed oils (10).
- Can help improve your bone health
Boysenberries contain important vitamins and minerals that help support bone health. One cup of frozen boysenberries contains about 36 mg of calcium and phosphorus. It also has a good amount of vitamin K and manganese, which are vital for bone metabolism (11). Deficiency of these vitamins and minerals can lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (12), (13).
- Can help boost your immunity
Like most berries, boysenberries are a rich source of immune-boosting vitamin C. One cup of boysenberries contains more than 4 mg of vitamin C, which helps fight infections and strengthen your immune system (14).
Now, with the above boysenberry benefits, you might like to include them in your diet and wonder how they taste. If you find blackberries bitter to your taste, you may like the sweet and potent flavor of boysenberries. With their larger size, they are also faster to harvest and easier to use in different dishes. Let’s see what you can make with these clustered berries.
How To Add Boysenberry To Your Diet?
Boysenberries are most often seen at the nearest farmers markets around May or early June throughout the summer. Boysenberries are not usually found in grocery stores or supermarkets because they have thin skins and are fragile to transport. These berries do not have a long shelf life and should ideally be made into jams and jellies immediately after harvest.
Boysenberries can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week, but you can also freeze them for later use. The best way to freeze them is to line them up on a baking sheet with enough space between two berries. Once fully frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe, sealed container suitable for long-term storage.
Boysenberries is a balanced mix of sweet raspberries and sour blackberries in taste. A few common ways to include boysenberries in your diet are as follows:
- Bake them in a variety of cakes, pies and crumbs.
- Blend them into smoothies or add them to a fruit salad.
- Add them to your favorite desserts like chips, cobblers and cakes.
- Make jams, jellies and syrups.
- Add them as a topping or flavoring in ice cream, yogurt and cheesecakes.
- Make syrups and sprinkle on pancakes or waffles.
- Blend them into sauces that go well with savory dishes like roast pork or beef.
- Combine them with other berries, coconuts, apricots, peaches, honey, raisins, hazelnut, cinnamon, chocolate, fino sherry and rum to enhance the flavor of any dish to your liking.
Before including boysenberries in your diet, you should also be aware of the possible side effects.
Side Effects and Allergies
Because boysenberry is a hybrid berry, people who have previously been allergic to raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, or dewberry may also experience an allergic reaction to boysenberries. They may experience mild allergic reactions such as itching, swelling, or upset stomach after eating these berries. If you suspect such allergy symptoms, you should stop eating boysenberries and see a doctor.
Consumption of berries may increase the chances of kidney stone formation and other kidney complications due to their high potassium and oxalate content.
Boysenberry is a hybrid berry rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, vital vitamins and minerals. This makes these vibrant berries beneficial to your health in several important ways. They help reduce oxidative stress, promote cardiovascular and digestive health, and also help boost your immunity. They have a sweet, sour and bold taste that lends itself well to making smoothies, salads, jams, jellies, cakes, pies, tarts and other baked goods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are boysenberries so hard to find?
Boysenberries are too fragile to transport. So they can only be found at the nearest farmers markets and not in supermarkets or supermarket chains.
Are boysenberries and blackberries the same?
No, boysenberries are a hybrid of blackberries and raspberries and other berries.
Are boysenberry and raspberry the same?
No, boysenberries are a hybrid, raspberries are not.
Key learning points
- Boysenberry is a hybrid berry cultivar that grows in bunches like grapes.
- These are too delicate and juicy to transport and are usually found freshly harvested at nearby farmers markets.
- Rich in antioxidants, anthocyanins, essential vitamins and minerals, these berries help improve your cardiovascular health and boost immunity.
- With their slightly sweet and sour taste, they fit well in jams, jellies, cakes and pie preparations.
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- Boysenberries frozen unsweetened
- Boysenberry intake supports fibrolytic macrophages with ability to enhance chronic lung remodeling
- Boysenberry and apple juice concentrate reduced acute pneumonia and increased M2 macrophage-associated cytokines in an acute mouse model of allergic airway disease
- Acute and chronic flow-mediated dilation and blood pressure responses to daily boysenberry juice intake: a preliminary study
- Effects of acute and chronic boysenberry intake on blood pressure and endothelial function in spontaneously hypertensive rats
- Boysenberry polyphenols suppressed elevation of plasma triglyceride levels in rats
- Boysenberry polyphenol inhibits endothelial dysfunction and improves vascular health
- Anthocyanins: a comprehensive overview of their chemical properties and health effects on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases
- Anthocyanins and Human Health: An In Vitro Research Approach
- Fatty acid composition and antioxidant properties of cold-pressed marionberry boysenberry red raspberry and blueberry seed oil
- The role of nutrients in bone health from A to Z
- Osteoporosis: the role of micronutrients | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic
- The health benefits of vitamin K
- Vitamin C and immune function
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