Good for your heart and good for your mind, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries add color to your plate and brighten up your day. Yet, in a botanical sense, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are not actually berries.
To understand the discrepancy, here's what makes a fruit a fruit in the first place. Fruits are the edible reproductive body of a seed plant. They grow on a plant from the ovary and aid in getting its seeds out into the world.
Unlike berries, which are simple fruits stemming from one flower with a single ovary, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are derived from one flower with more than one ovary. Therefore, they are aggregate fruits, not berries.
In addition to being “simple,” berries generally contain multiple seeds wrapped in a thin membrane surrounded by a fleshy pulp. By this definition, a banana counts as a berry, one with easy-to-miss seeds and a resourceful peel.
Using those rules, tomatoes, kiwis and pomegranates are also berries. An avocado is a berry too, just one with a single seed. Blueberries, an excellent weight-loss food, are still berries.
Botany, the science that determines whether a food is a fruit or a vegetable, is tricky and can leave you scratching your head. Check out which “vegetables” are actually fruit and other common foods that aren't what you think.