Why is a Strawberry Not a Berry?

strawberryA legend says that the name ‘strawberry’ comes from the 19th century when children from England picked this fruit and sold them as they were strung on grass straws. It further states that they were once called ‘straws of berries’. An even later theory, which is one practiced even today, is that the name comes from the practice of using straw to protect the growing plant while the fruit ripens. Whatever theories you may come across do take note that strawberries are not berries.

Berry or Not

Botanists do not classify this fruit along with other berries, pointing to the fact that strawberries are not berries. A bit of a more technical way to say it is that this fruit is not a true berry. Examples of true berries would include cranberries and blueberries, which have their seeds on the inside. On the contrary, strawberries on the other hand have their yellow colored seeds on the outside. Another thing that will rock your brain is that each seed you see on the outside is really what is considered separate fruits and not the tasty reddish part.

A Fragola!

Italians have it right when they maintained the modern Italian word for this fruit as ‘Fragola’, which basically means ‘fragrant’. With the original name intact we can deduce the actual fact that strawberries are not berries. The fruit is actually classified under genus Fragraria.

This genus is really within the rose family. An interesting thing is that other fruits are placed under genus Fragraria as well, such as plums and apples. The name to which we classify strawberries and fruits in the same order comes from a word in the Old Latin that means ‘fragrant’.

Healthy Alternative

Even though we now know for a fact that strawberries are not berries they still remain as a healthy part of our diet. You get 88 mg of Vitamin C if you eat eight strawberries that are medium sized, which is 140% of the RDA. This already meets more than what you would need every day.

If you’re looking for food that will help you lose weight then this fruit is one that you might want to consider. A cup of unsweetened strawberries will only contain 55 calories. They are a fat free alternative to get a great diet.

In addition, they are also rich sources of fiber, potassium, and folic acid. Taking in eight strawberries will be enough to give you 20% of your needed daily folic acid that is if you’re expecting a baby. Even though strawberries are not berries, they are a healthy choice for any diet.

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  1. Nadia Radzyminski