Boysenberry: All That You Need To Know

Rich in essential vitamins and minerals, this dark and juicy berry does more good than you know.

Reviewed by Nilofar Pendhari, Certified Clinical Nutritionist
By Varsha Patnaik, MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Diet & Nutrition Coach

Berries are a delight every summer, all over the world. While most grow naturally and are found in the wild, there are also a few hybrid varieties developed meticulously by crossbreeding over the years. Boysenberry is one such hybrid berry that’s usually found freshly harvested in your nearby farmer’s market. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, boysenberries help improve your health in several ways. Read on to know about their nutrient facts, health benefits, flavor profile, and various ways to include them in your diet.

What Is Boysenberry?

Boysenberry fruit is a large, juicy, dark purple berry that looks like a cluster of small grapes. It is a hybrid fruit developed by cross-breeding loganberry, dewberry, raspberry, and blackberry by Rudolph Boysen in Anaheim, California, in the 1920s. These berries are soft and fragile and don’t transport well. These also tend to get spoiled very quickly, so need to be harvested and consumed soon. With their somewhat sweet yet tangy taste, you can enjoy them fresh as a healthy snack or turn them into delectable jams, jellies, sauces, syrups, and pie fillings.

Stylecraze Trivia
Boysenberries became commercially popular only in the 1930s due to farmer Walter Knott and his wife Cordelia.

Let’s take a deeper look at its nutrient content in the next section.

Nutritional Information

According to the USDA, one cup of frozen, unthawed boysenberries contains the following nutrients (1).

Water113 g
Energy66 kcal
Protein1.45 g
Total lipid (fat)0.343 g
Carbohydrate16.1 g
Fiber7 g
Sugars9.1 g
Calcium, Ca35.6 mg
Iron, Fe1.12 mg
Magnesium, Mg21.1 mg
Phosphorus, P35.6 mg
Potassium, K183 mg
Sodium, Na1.32 mg
Zinc, Zn0.29 mg
Copper, Cu0.106 mg
Manganese, Mn0.722 mg
Selenium, Se0.264 µg
Vitamin C4.09 mg
Thiamin0.07 mg
Riboflavin0.049 mg
Niacin1.01 mg
Pantothenic acid0.33 mg
Vitamin B-60.074 mg
Folate83.2 µg
Choline13.5 mg
Vitamin B-120 µg
Vitamin A, RAE3.96 µg
Carotene, beta52.8 µg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)10.3 µg
Cholesterol0 mg

Boysenberries are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. It also contains vital B vitamins and folate that play an important role in cellular mechanisms and brain development. Additionally, a cup of berries has about 200 mg of potassium and just 1.3 mg of sodium which is essentially good for your cardiovascular health.

Further ahead in the article, we understand how these nutrients translate into some important health benefits for you.

Potential Health Benefits Of Boysenberry

  • May Help Promote Lung Health
Boysenberry may help promote lung health

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 The polyphenols and antioxidants in boysenberry may have a positive effect on lung health. Research states that regular consumption of boysenberry juice might help moderate chronic lung fibrosis in asthma and other chronic pulmonary conditions (2). A recent study in 2021 also suggests that drinking boysenberry and apple juice concentrate might help reduce lung inflammation and tissue damage (3).

  • May Help Support Your Heart Health
Boysenberry may help support health health

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Boysenberries are rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols that may help reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease (4). A few animal studies suggest that consumption of boysenberry juice might help lower blood pressure and serum triglyceride levels significantly (5), (6). Another study suggested that boysenberry juice can help maintain the thickness of endothelial cell walls, thereby enabling normal blood flow and pressure (7).

  • Rich In Antioxidants

Boysenberry is also packed with anthocyanins, the pigmented flavonoids with antioxidant properties that give them their rich vibrant color.

Research has shown that anthocyanins might help prevent neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases associated with oxidative stress (8). These flavonoids may also help strengthen your vision and help reduce the risks of cancer (9).

As per another study, boysenberry seed oil was reported to have the strongest oxygen radical absorbance capacity compared to blueberry, red raspberry, and marionberry seed oils (10).

  • May Help Improve Your Bone Health
Boysenberry may help improve bone health

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Boysenberries contain important vitamins and minerals that help support bone health. One cup of frozen boysenberries contains about 36 mg of both calcium and phosphorus. It also has a good amount of vitamin K and manganese, which are vital for bone metabolism (11). The deficiency of these vitamins and minerals could lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (12), (13).

  • May 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 be keen to include them in your diet and wonder what they taste like. If you find blackberries bitter for your taste, you may actually like the sweet and bold flavor of boysenberries. With their bigger size, they are also quicker to harvest and easier to incorporate into various dishes. Let’s see next what you can make with these clustered berries.

How To Add Boysenberry To Your Diet

Boysenberry salad

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Boysenberries are most often seen in the nearest farmers markets around May or early June all through the summers. Boysenberries are typically not found in grocery stores or supermarkets as they are thin-skinned and fragile to transport. These berries don’t last long and should ideally be processed into jams and jellies as soon as harvested.

Boysenberries may last around a week in the fridge, or you can choose to freeze them for later use. The best way to freeze them is to line them out on a baking sheet with enough space in between two berries. Once completely frozen, you can transfer them into a freezer-safe sealed container suitable for long-term storage.

Boysenberries are a balanced mix of sweet raspberries and tart blackberries in taste. A few common ways to include boysenberries in your diet are as follows:

  • Bake them into a variety of cakes, pies, and crumbles.
  • Blend them into smoothies or add them to a fruit salad.
  • Add them to your favorite desserts such as crisps, cobblers, and cakes.
  • Make them into jams, jellies, and syrups.
  • Add them as a topping or flavoring in ice cream, yogurts, and cheesecakes.
  • Make them into syrups and drizzle over pancakes or waffles.
  • Blend them into sauces that complement savory dishes like roasted pork or beef.
  • Pair 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.
StyleCraze Says
You can also use boysenberry in your favorite spirit or cocktail. Add 5 boysenberries and a few mint leaves and crush to a paste. Add 2 ounces of white rum and ½ an ounce of lime juice to the glass. Top it up with sparkling water and fresh boysenberries.

Before including boysenberries in your diet, you should be aware of its possible side effects as well.

Side Effects And Allergies

Allergic reactions due to boysenberry

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Since boysenberry is a hybrid berry, people who have prior allergies to raspberry, blackberry, loganberry, or dewberry might have a possibility of allergic reactions to boysenberries as well. They may experience mild allergic reactions like itching, swelling, or stomach discomfort after eating these berries. If you suspect any such allergic symptoms, you should discontinue eating boysenberries and consult a doctor.

Consumption of berries might increase the possibility of kidney stone formation and other renal complications due to their high potassium and oxalate content.

To Sum Up

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 help boost your immunity as well. They have a sweet, tart, and bold taste that lends well to making smoothies, salads, jams, jellies, cakes, pies, tarts, and other baked goods.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a marionberry and a boysenberry?

Marionberry is a cultivar of blackberry while boysenberry is a hybrid of four berries.

Is boysenberry a tree or a bush?

It is a bush. Like most berries, boysenberry grows on low, trailing bushes.

How do you know when boysenberries are ripe?

As boysenberries mature, they develop a reddish-dark purple color and develop a distinctive aroma.

Key Takeaways

  • Boysenberry is a hybrid berry cultivar that grows in clusters like grapes.
  • Too delicate and juicy to be transported, these are mostly found freshly harvested in nearby farmers markets.
  • Rich in antioxidants, anthocyanins, essential vitamins, and minerals, these berries help improve your cardiovascular health and boost immunity as well.
  • With their mildly sweet and tart taste, they blend well in jams, jellies, cakes, and pie preparations.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Boysenberries frozen unsweetened
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171713/nutrients
  2. Boysenberry ingestion supports fibrolytic macrophages with the capacity to ameliorate chronic lung remodeling
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27371734/
  3. Boysenberry and apple juice concentrate reduced acute lung inflammation and increased M2 macrophage-associated cytokines in an acute mouse model of allergic airways disease
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33747463/
  4. Acute and chronic flow-mediated dilation and blood pressure responses to daily intake of boysenberry juice: a preliminary study
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23848379/
  5. Effects of acute and chronic boysenberry intake on blood pressure and endothelial function in spontaneous hypertensive rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24759259
  6. Boysenberry Polyphenols Suppressed Elevation of Plasma Triglyceride Levels in Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26440637
  7. Boysenberry polyphenol inhibits endothelial dysfunction and improves vascular health
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30106986/
  8. Anthocyanins: A Comprehensive Review of Their Chemical Properties and Health Effects on Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32825684/
  9. Anthocyanins and Human Health: An In Vitro Investigative Approach
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/
  10. Fatty acid composition and antioxidant properties of cold-pressed marionberry boysenberry red raspberry and blueberry seed oils
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15686403/
  11. The role of nutrients in bone health from A to Z
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17092827/
  12. Osteoporosis: the role of micronutrients | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic
    https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/81/5/1232S/4649817
  13. The health benefits of vitamin K
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4600246/
  14. Vitamin C and Immune Function
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29099763/
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Varsha holds a master's degree in biotechnology from Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, and is a certified diet and nutrition coach. She... more

Nilofar Pendhari

(Certified Clinical Nutritionist)
Nilofar Pendhari is a physiotherapist, dietitian, and certified clinical nutritionist having over 9 years of professional experience in the field... more

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