Bilberries Vs Blueberries: Everything About These Berries

Many of us are familiar with Blueberries, which are mostly eaten during breakfast and desserts. However, several Europeans call them Bilberries. 

Blueberries and Bilberries are somewhat related and have a relatively similar appearance. However, they are two different species, from surface color to benefits. To prove this, we have curated this post. 

So, Bilberries Vs. Blueberries: which one do you like more? 

The Blueberries and Bilberries share quite the same look. However, Blueberries are slightly bigger than Bilberries which have a darker surface and look nearly black with a blue complexion. Bilberries also have a dark flesh inside compared to the paler green flesh of their American cousin. In addition, they also differ in terms of taste, nutritional content, color, size, flavor, growing locations, and many more

These are some of the elements that differentiate Bilberries and Blueberries in brief. However, you have to know more about them. To discover how different these two berries are from each other, make sure to continue reading! 

Let’s get started! 

A Quick Comparison: Blueberries Vs. Bilberries

Regardless of how many times you closely see or taste them, Blueberries and Bilberries are not the same ever. They are popular in their respective growing locations and come with many differences you may not think of.  

We can confirm the existence of various blog posts related to the comparison of Bilberries and Blueberries. Because of the readers who are highly interested in knowing about these two berries, we have carefully curated the differences after spending hours researching. Therefore, we will provide you with in-depth details of these flavorful berries!

However, before getting into the details, you can have a sneak peek of the differences between Blueberries and Bilberries: 

BlueberriesBilberries
Native to the United StatesNative to Northern Europe and certain parts of North America and Asia.
North American BlueberryEuropean Blueberry
Vaccinium Corymbosum (Botanical Name)Vaccinium Myrtillus (Botanical Name)
Blue Huckleberry, Swamp Huckleberry, Tall Huckleberry, High Blueberry, and Swamp BlueberryEuropean Blueberry, Bilberry, Common Bilberry, Blue Whortleberry, and Huckleberry
Found in clustersSingle berries
CultivatedGrows in wild
Bigger in sizeSmaller in size
Pale flesh (green flesh)Dark Flesh (red flesh)
Less intense flavorStrong flavor
Low anthocyanin contentHigh anthocyanin content

With the above-listed table, I assume that you have got answers to all your doubts. Therefore, shall we proceed with the in-depth differences between these berries?

Bilberries Vs. Blueberries: Detailed List Of Differences 

Though both Blueberries and Bilberries are actually related and come under the same family (Ericaceae), they have some primary differences that we can use to differentiate one from the other. 

Family and Origin 

Blueberry or North American Blueberry is known as Vaccinium Corymbosum by its botanical name. They are native berries to the United States of America. Coming to the Bilberry or European Blueberry, its botanical name is Vaccinium Myrtillus. These berries are native to Northern Europe and specific Asia and North America regions. 

Bilberries
Bilberries

Blueberry is known by many other names: High Blueberry, Blue Huckleberry, Tall Huckleberry, Swamp Huckleberry, and Swamp Blueberry.

Some common terms of Bilberry are Blue Whortleberry, European Blueberry, Bilberry, Huckleberry, and Common Bilberry.

Growing Habitat and Cultivation 

It is vital to know that both these berries are shrubs. However, Bilberries grow as small bushes with tiny stems, and they have low growth with an estimated height range of 6 to 24 inches.

Blueberry plants are generally high-bushes, but some can grow as low-bush plants as well. 

Bilberries naturally grow in wild forests, and it is nearly impossible to nurture and harvest them. Contrary to them, Blueberries can be cultivated on farms.

You have to know that Blueberries are exported to various countries on a large scale compared to European Blueberries.

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Fruits 

If you look from a significant distance, it is possible to believe that these two berries look the same. However, the Blueberries are slightly bigger and generally grow in clusters. It means that even at a single spot, you can find clumps of fruits on a Blueberry plant. However, Bilberries are a little smaller, and usually, these plants generate only a single berry in a single place, particularly near the leaf and stem. 

In addition to that, we have to say that Bilberries generally grow between 3 to 10 mm in diameter, and the Blueberries have the potential to grow about 5 to 13 mm in diameter.

Unlike the Bilberries, the North American Blueberries have a flared crown at the bottom. 

Another difference is that the skin color of Bilberry fruits is darker and slightly matte compared to the Blueberry fruits. In a sense, Bilberries are likely to be relatively deep in blue and slightly grey over Blueberries. 

Inside, Bilberry fruits come with a dark red with a mix of strong blue flesh, whereas Blueberry fruits have a whitish or pale green pulp. However, Blueberries do not stain as much as Bilberries do.

Taste

Because of the acidic flavor in Bilberries, there is a massive difference in the taste of these two berries. Blueberry has a less intense taste than wild Bilberry, which is known for its strong flavor. 

Blueberries
Blueberries

In other words, North American Blueberry is tangy, fruity, and a little sweet, whereas Bilberry has a softer, slight tart, and acidic quality. Some even say that the taste of wild Bilberries is unforgettable and that the taste of Blueberries is nowhere near that. 

Active Compounds 

Bilberries retain a higher concentration of the anthocyanins cyanidin, peonidin, and delphinidin. However, you can find more levels of malvidin in Blueberries. Bilberries have increased antioxidant potential due to their higher overall anthocyanin content.

Bilberries, in fact, are one of the highest sources of anthocyanins. It is because they have 300 to 700 mg of anthocyanin content in every 100 g of Bilberries. However, several other phenolic chemicals found in Blueberries include rutin, chlorogenic and coumaric acids, epicatechin, and resveratrol. 

As both Bilberries and Blueberries have excess quantities of antioxidants, they can be utilized for identical circumstances. In addition to that, folk medication, in general, has Bilberries and Blueberries.

Bilberries have more potential to work effectively for eye issues, diarrhea, and blood flow. But, the North American Blueberries are chosen for their capacity to cure mental function, chronic fatigue syndrome, and urinary tract illnesses.

Curing Diseases 

Blueberries and Bilberries have the capacity to fix several types of diseases due to the antioxidant compound found inside their flesh. These two berries heal cardiovascular problems, night blindness, diabetes, diarrhea, colon cancer, and others. In addition, Bilberry leaf is also a primary ingredient for making medication related to scurvy, burns, and other skin infections. 

Blueberry and Bilberry fruits enhance capillary strength and behave as decent blood circulation enhancers. The high levels of antioxidant compounds in the Bilberries can alleviate macular degeneration, cataracts, colon cancer, and other stomach illnesses.

The Bilberries help to maintain capillaries’ health that supports in the form of normal blood circulation throughout your body. In addition to that, these berries are proven to strengthen the visual purple element of the retina, which enhances night vision and eliminates night blindness.

Nutritional Value 

Getting into the nutritional value, we can say that these two berries are relatively similar. However, Bilberries are likely to surpass Blueberries if you look at some nutrients. Here is a brief table that shows the nutritional value of Blueberries and Bilberries. 

Nutrients100 grams of Bilberries100 grams of Blueberries
Calories4284
Carbs11.5 g21.45 g
Sugars8.7 g14.74 g
Fiber2.8 g3.6 g
Proteins0.7 g1.1 g
Fats0.5 g0.49 g
Vitamin C44 mg (48% of recommended daily intake)14.4 mg (24% of recommended daily intake)
Manganese66% of recommended daily intake25% of recommended daily intake
Potassium103 milligrams (mg)114 milligrams (mg)
Calcium15 milligrams (mg)9 milligrams (mg)
Iron0.8 milligrams (mg)0.41 milligrams (mg)
Magnesium7 milligrams (mg)9 milligrams (mg)
Phosphorus9 milligrams (mg)18 milligrams (mg)
Sodium3 milligrams (mg)1 milligram (mg)
Zinc0.1 milligrams (mg)0.24 milligrams (mg)
Folate6 mcg9 milligrams (mg)

As you can see, the vitamins and minerals in Bilberries are higher than in Blueberries. In addition, Bilberries have 2.1 mg (14% of recommended daily intake) of Vitamin E, which is relatively high compared to Blueberries. 

Key Takeaway 

Blueberries are huge and grow in clusters than Common Bilberries, which are small and grow as single berries. Though small, Bilberries have an intense flavor compared to the less intense flavor of Swamp Blueberries. Despite their differences in taste, these berries do share quite a similar aroma. 

Bilberries are packed with four times more antioxidants than North American Blueberry. They have rich anthocyanin sources, which are colorful plant pigments that have the potential to safeguard you from harmful free radicals. Though Blueberries also have anthocyanin content, it is found in tiny quantities. 

In addition to that, they contain similar nutrients, but Blueberries have a little elevated amount of several vitamins and minerals.

As you know, Bilberries naturally grow in the wild, particularly in Northern Europe and specific regions of North America and Asia. However, North American Blueberry is generally cultivated in farms, especially in the USA. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the primary health benefits of Blueberries? 

There are several benefits of Blueberries. Due to their protective properties, these berries enable your body to withstand various diseases. The anthocyanidins present in the berries help in enhancing the cardiovascular system. In addition, Blueberries enrich blood vessels, lessen arterial stiffness, and control blood sugar. Other health benefits include: maintaining your eye health, curing gastrointestinal problems, and more.

What are the primary health benefits of Bilberries? 

Similar to several other berries, Bilberries are nutrient-rich fruits. Due to their high antioxidant levels, they can safeguard your body against harm and disorders. Researchers even specify that Bilberries can increase night vision. These berries can help you combat inflammation because of surplus anthocyanins. They can help lower your blood sugar levels, enhance your heart health, and boost your brain function. 

Is it alright to eat Blueberries every day?

Yes, you can consume a bowl of Blueberries daily, which can assist in increasing your immunity power, curtail the danger of diabetes, overweight, and other heart disorders. Some studies even say that eating a tiny quantity of Blueberries every day can enhance your metabolism and deter any sort of metabolic syndrome and weakness. However, keep in mind not to consume berries in excessive quantities.  

Where can you find Bilberries?

In general, you can find the Bilberry plants in their native places, including the Northern part of Europe, Northern Asian regions, Iceland, and some North American provinces. These plants will start flowering in June, and fruits will develop by the month of August. You can find store-bought Bilberries in some fruit shops or convenience stores, which is not that common.

Can You freeze Blueberries and Bilberries? 

Yes, you can freeze both Blueberries and Bilberries, which is absolutely safe. All you have to do is put them in an air-tight bag or freezer-safe container, suck out the air and store the pack in the freezer. However, if you want to rinse the berries first, then make sure to clear out the water and moisture content by drying it with a towel or tissue.

Bottom Line 

We have practically made this post in order to help people notice the differences between Blueberries and Bilberries. From the above-listed information, we hope you are aware that there is no winner between Bilberries and Blueberries. 

Some people would like to eat Blueberries, while others might prefer Bilberries. However, the availability of these berries also impacts the total consumption as Blueberries are highly accessible everywhere compared to their European counterpart.  

In the comment section, help us know which one you prefer to eat more between Blueberries and Bilberries!  

Lucia

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