Cranberries and cranberries: differences, what is better, descriptions of berries, their pros and cons

Cranberries and cranberries: differences, what is better, descriptions of berries, their pros and cons

Cranberries and cranberries are similar plants that have tasty and he althy berries. At first glance, it may seem that these are exactly the same cultures, but in reality they are not. They have differences in leaves and fruits. There is also a difference in taste and chemical composition of lingonberries and cranberries.

What is this

Both plants belong to the common Heather family. They are small perennial shrubs with oval leaves and round red berries.

Description of cranberries

This is a creeping plant that has frequent leathery leaves that are elliptical or obovate in shape with curling edges. In length, they reach 0.5-3 centimeters. From above, lingonberry leaves have a dark green color and a shiny surface, and from below they are light green and matte.

Culture shoots reach a length of 1 meter, but usually they grow up to 8-15 centimeters. Cowberry has bisexual flowers with 4 lobes. They can be white or light pink in color.

The plant is characterized by spherical fruits with red shiny skin. Their diameter is approximately 0.8 cm. Cowberry berries are characterized by a sweet and sour taste with a slight bitterness. Fruit ripening occurs in August or September. After frost, they acquire a watery texture.

Description of cranberries

This plant is a creeping shrub with flexible rooting stems 15-30 centimeters in size.The culture has small alternate leaves 1.5 centimeters long and up to 0.6 millimeters wide. They may be ovoid or elongated. The leaves are dark green above and ash below. During the flowering period, pink or pale purple flowers with 4 or 5 petals appear on the bushes.

Cranberries bloom in May and June. After that, red berries of a spherical or ovoid shape appear on the bushes. In diameter, they reach about 1.5 centimeters. The fruits have a sour taste.

Main differences

Visually, the plants are similar only in the color of the fruits. However, they have much more differences. They concern the size and shape of leaves, shrubs, berries.

Where it grows

Cowberry is mainly found in the tundra, Scandinavian countries and in the subarctic climate. This plant cannot be seen near metropolitan areas. Culture chooses only environmentally friendly places.

Cranberries are often called "bear mountain". Before falling into hibernation, bears eat a lot of berries. Thus, they replenish the reserves of microelements for the winter. This plant is found in different countries. It is in the Carpathians, Crimea, Volga region.

Size and color

Berries differ significantly in appearance. Lingonberries have burgundy-red fruits of muted shades. Cranberries look like pomegranates. If you place the fruits in the palm of your hand, it will not be difficult to see the difference. Lingonberries are smaller.

So, the key visual differences include the following:

  1. Cranberries are slightly elongated and lingonberries are round.
  2. Cranberry berries are characterized by a heterogeneous color - they can have spots, stripes, specks. Lingonberries resemble small scarlet balls.
  3. Cranberries are larger. In diameter, it reaches 1-1.5 centimeters. The size of lingonberries does not exceed 0.8 mm.
  4. Cowberry has rather large and fleshy foliage. Cranberries have small and thin leaves.


Both types of berries have a sour taste due to their composition and chemical content. However, it is quite possible to tell them apart.

The palatability of lingonberries is associated with the presence of such components:

  • sugar - make up no more than 10% by weight;
  • organic acids - make up a maximum of 2%.

Due to the high content of sugars, lingonberries have a sweeter taste. When fruits freeze at the ripening stage, they become sweeter.

The taste of cranberries is influenced by the following:

  • sugar - their content does not exceed 6%;
  • organic acids - their amount is a maximum of 4%.

Due to their higher acid content and lower proportion of sugars, cranberries have a more sour and tart flavor.


Cranberry is a juicy berry that is 87% water. 100 grams of the product contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, 4.6 grams of fiber and less than 1 gram of fat and protein. In terms of vitamins, cranberries contain the following:

  • retinol;
  • carotene;
  • B vitamins;
  • tocopherol;
  • ascorbic acid;
  • phylloquinone.

From minerals, the product contains calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium. It also contains copper, sodium and zinc. Of the organic acids in the composition of cranberries, citric acid predominates. That is why its fruits have a very sour taste.

Cowberry differs in composition in that it includes fewer carbohydrates. 100 grams of the product contains 8.2 grams of these substances.Also, lingonberries differ in the amount of vitamins. It also contains retinol, tocopherol, vitamin C and carotene. However, it lacks vitamin B9 and K. Cowberries have the same mineral composition as cranberries. However, it lacks copper and zinc.

Benefits and harms

Both types of berries bring great he alth benefits. With regular use of cranberries, the following results can be achieved:

  • lower blood pressure in hypertension;
  • strengthen the vascular walls;
  • strengthen immunity;
  • normalize the digestive system with constipation, flatulence, pathologies with reduced acidity;
  • stimulate metabolic processes and activate the breakdown of carbohydrates - this helps to reduce weight.

Cowberries in folk medicine can be used as a whole. Unlike cranberries, not only fruits, but also shoots with foliage have medicinal properties. Due to the high content of magnesium, the product helps support heart function.

With regular use of lingonberries, you can get the following results:

  1. Prevent the development of viral infections.
  2. Deal with viruses and bacteria.
  3. Eliminate inflammation in the genitourinary system, get rid of chronic cystitis and pyelonephritis.
  4. Facilitate the treatment of sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis.
  5. Improve joint damage, arthritis, gout.

It is important to consider that both types of plants have a fairly strong effect on the body. Therefore, it is required to use their fruits correctly, taking into account contraindications. Otherwise, the berries will only bring harm.

Cowberry is forbidden to use in the following cases:

  • hypotension;
  • pathologies of the digestive system;
  • disorders of the kidneys - in this case, lingonberries can only be used with the permission of a doctor.

The main contraindication to the use of cranberries is a stomach and duodenal ulcer. With other deviations in the work of the digestive organs, berries can be used.

It is important to consider that cranberries are not allowed to be used in the following cases:

  • active development of caries, ulcers in the oral cavity, increased sensitivity of tooth enamel;
  • exacerbation of gastritis;
  • first 4 months of breastfeeding.


Despite belonging to the same family, cranberries and lingonberries have a number of differences. The difference affects the appearance of shrubs and fruits. The size and color of the berries, their chemical composition and effect on the human body also differ.

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