There’s a new superfood sending waves in the local market. Find out the health benefits of aronia berries and why they are touted as a berry superhero.
Berries are known for their high nutrient content, and they’re a great addition to any diet. They are wonderful to munch on during snack time or to use as ingredients for your morning smoothie or pudding.
When it comes to popularity, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries usually take the top rank and find their way on to most supermarket shelves. However, there are other lesser known varieties that pack as much punch (or even more). One of these is the Aronia berry.
What are Aronia Berries?
Aronia berries are native to North America and are often found in marshy areas and wet places. They are also called chokeberries due to their sourness that causes your lips to pucker. It is usually cultivated as food product; its plant shrub also has an ornamental use. They come in three varieties: Red, black, and purple.
The Many Health Benefits of Aronia Berries:
Aronia berries are touted as the newest superfoods (they are even better than existing superfoods like goji and acai berries) because of their very high antioxidant content. The berries have very high concentrations of anthocyanin (pigments), proanthocyanidins (tannins), and a wide range of polyphenols.
These antioxidants counter the ill-effects of free radicals, and help to prevent a wide range of health problems and diseases like cancer.
To put things in perspective, Aronias contains three times more antioxidants than blueberries, goji berries, and pomegranates providing you with a wide range of benefits including the following:
- Contains the compounds caffeic acid, epicatechin, delphinidin and cyaniding-3-galactose. The mixture of these compounds produces a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic and anti-viral combo!
- Prevents the formation of the dreaded plaque that narrows and clogs the arteries causing heart disease. Apart from that, it also helps to lower cholesterol levels.
- Helps protect your vital organs, such as the liver, from toxic substances and other free radicals. The same can be said for your skin, so it is a great choice if you’re looking for food that helps you to look younger.
- Great for those who suffer from diabetes because regular intake has been seen to minimize high blood sugar levels and maximize the body’s insulin production.
- Effective against fighting off cancer and the development of tumors. There are studies that show that Aronia berries may to help prevent the growth of a fatal brain cancer called glioblastoma.
- Contains quinic acid, which is known to fight off the UTI-causing bacteria called Escherichia coli.
- Helps to prevent stomach problems such as ulcers and diarrhea. Their antioxidant properties help protect the GI tract and your digestive system. Apart from that, people who have kidney and intestinal problems may find the daily intake of Aronia berries helpful in the long run.
How Many Should I Eat?
Experts suggest eating at least three servings (around 3 to 5 berries per serving) each day. Eating them in multiple doses as opposed to one big dose seems to be a better idea. Most flavonoids levels (like those from anthocyanins) tend to drop after a few hours, so it helps to space out your intake of the berries throughout the day to keep the levels consistent in your blood stream.
Helpful Tip: The darker the berry, the higher the antioxidant content!
Where to Buy Aronia Berries
Because of its soaring popularity, Aronia berries are now readily available in many health stores and shops. They are usually sold in fresh-frozen packets as opposed to raw and fresh berries.
Although red Aronias are generally milder than purple ones, these berries still taste very strong when eaten raw. Thus, they are better incorporated into your diet in the form of smoothies, cheesecake toppings, jams, and puddings.
They are also available in powder and supplement form. If you have a green thumb, you will find that you can actually grow the berries at home. The Aronia bush grows rapidly reaching its peak size in just a couple of years.
The best part about growing this plant is that it tolerates a wide range of conditions. It can thrive on dry to swampy soil, and can tolerate acidic and mildly alkaline pH. With so many great benefits, you shouldn’t need any more convincing that Aronia berries are an excellent addition to your diet.