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Superfruit: Health Benefits of Aronia Berry

Updated on April 1, 2015
anglnwu profile image

A certified health and wellness coach, I love discussing food, health benefits and how to keep weight in check,

Aronia Berry, Aronia Melanocarpa

The deep purplish black pigment is due to the rich content of anthocyanins, a powerful group of antioxidants. The skin has the highest concentrations of nutrients.
The deep purplish black pigment is due to the rich content of anthocyanins, a powerful group of antioxidants. The skin has the highest concentrations of nutrients. | Source


Aronia Berry is slowly emerging as the new superfruit. Cranberry, Goji berry, blueberry, concord grape, pomegranate, strawberry have long hogged the limelight. As new researches emerge, aronia berry has been collecting enough health accolades to push it to the top of the list. Aronia berry is a native of North America and has long been used by Native Americans in medicine, food and as a dye for cloth. Eastern Europe has a long history of aronia berry use too. Since gaining a foothold in the superfruit world, aronia berry fame is spreading fast. In 2008, Marks and Spencer, a large British retail chain, began selling aronia related products after its six-year plan to cultivate aronia berries in Scotland came to fruition. In Missouri Valley, Iowa, an annual aronia berry festival featuring everything aronia from herbal concoction to aronia beer is fast gaining popularity.


What is Aronia Berry?

Aronia Berries are easy to grow in Northern America, or anywhere where the temperature is cooler. You can easily grow them in your backyard—not only do they serve ornamental purposes, their fruits are nutritional gems. Just make sure it’s the black variety, specifically, Aronia Melanocarpa. It bears small (about 4 to 9 millimeters) blackberries. They appear in the fall and ripen at the beginning of the winter season. The berries are very tart and may induce some wincing or “choking,” hence the other name, “chokeberries”

It is quite possible, though not quite enjoyable to eat tart aronia berries on its own. However, no one is letting that stop them. Aronia berries may be used in jams, juices, sauces, syrup, salsa and tea fusion, amongst others. You can find fresh aconia berries at the farmer’s markets across the northern continents around the Christmas season.

Aronia products from wine to baked goods.

Aronia berry can be used in a variety of ways from making wine to using it in tea blends.
Aronia berry can be used in a variety of ways from making wine to using it in tea blends. | Source


What Makes Aronia Berry Special?

In terms of antioxidants, aronia Berry is the toast of the berry crowd. It has three times the antioxidant content of blueberries and about five times that of cranberries. The black pigment of aconia berries is due to the presence of a powerful group of antioxidants called anthocyanins.

Although its anthocyanin content is impressive, it also contains a variety of nutrients and vitamins that are worth mentioning: vitamin B2, B6, C, sorbitol (main sugar and it intensifies when mixed with other juices), phenolic acids, tannins, catechins and other flavonoids including quercetin, rutin, hesperidin and procyanidin.

Aronia Berry has the most antioxidants.

The ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity and it measures the antioxidant score found in the foods. The higher the score, the more capable it is of destroying free radicals.
The ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity and it measures the antioxidant score found in the foods. The higher the score, the more capable it is of destroying free radicals. | Source


Antioxidant Properties of Anthocyanins

If you’re wondering what is the difference between flavonoids and anthocyanins—here’s a simplified explanation. Flavonoids form the largest class of antioxidants with over 5,000 identifiable flavonoids. Within the flavonoids, anthocyanins have the strongest antioxidizing power. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, anthocyanins exert anti-cancer and antioxidant effects and protect the aging brain.

Because antioxidants are able to protect against oxidative damage to cells and boost the body’s immune system, they help to prevent various types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and various age-related health problems and inflammation.


In various studies, aronia berries have shown positive results in dealing with these health problems. Not all studies are conclusive at this point but the results are encouraging:

  • Fight cardiovascular diseases.

High cholesterol can result in clogged arteries, increasing the risks for cardiovascular diseases. Studies using various berries increasing aronia berries indicated an improvement in LDL (bad) cholesterol oxidation. By that token, aronia berries and various types of berries are highly beneficial for heart health.

  • Reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is detrimental to health as it causes tissue destruction that can give rise to a number of diseases including asthma, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Aronia berries have anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Fights various forms of cancer.

Oxidative damage to cells can give rise to various types of cancer. According to Dr. Iwona Wawer, a renowned researcher of aronia berries, the flavonoids found in aconia berries act as detoxifying agents neutralizing the damaging effects of oxidizing substances.

Other health benefits include:

  • Treats gastric muscosal disorders
  • Improves urinary tract health, even better than cranberry juice for urinary tract infection.
  • Reduces glucose levels in subjects suffering from diabetes mellitus
  • Stimulates circulation
  • May be an effective natural treatment for stomach problems including ulcers.


How Can You Include Aconia Berries in Your Diet?

If you don’t happen to already have a couple of plants growing in the backyard, you can always look for fresh ones at the Farmer’s market. You have better luck if you live in the northern part of America. Fresh berries can be a happy and healthy addition to salads, pancakes, to desserts and cereals. Add them to ice-cream, yogurt or sorbet for a burst of color and a dose of health benefits. You can also juice them or add them to smoothies. If you find pure aronia berry juice too tart on its own, blend it with other fruits.

You can also buy frozen aronia berries, berry chews, aronia berry tea blends, sauces or wine. Aronia products may be purchased at specialty stores or online.


Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

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  • profile image

    aronia berry 5 years ago

    if you interesting about ARONIA berry 100% pure juice call me at

    416 890 2960 Rasa my site http://www.golijskaaronia.ca

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Ingenira, thanks for your comment. I don't know if Aronia will thrive in tropical country--but you never know. I've seen cherry trees in Singapore, so give it a try.

  • Ingenira profile image

    Ingenira 6 years ago

    Wow, Aronia fruit has such a high anti-oxidant content. I wish I can plant this at my backyard. Even its name sounds good ! Voted up !

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    kootheancheah--it grows mainly in northern America. Thanks for commenting.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    prasetio, don't need to apologize. Always good to hear from you. Aronia is the new superstar. Thanks for visiting.

  • kootheancheah profile image

    kootheancheah 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

    I used to go to school in the States 30 years back. But I have not come across this fruit then. Maybe it grows in certain areas only.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Sorry for late to know this information. Wow...I thought this was a superfruit. Actually I had never knew about Aconia Berry. From your review above, this fruit has a lot of benefits for our health. Thank you so much for share this information. VOTE up and up!

    Prasetio

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Thanks, kootheancheah, I'm from Asia too and haven't heard of it until I was told about this amazing fruit.

  • kootheancheah profile image

    kootheancheah 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

    Thanks for sharing. I am from Asia and have not seen or heard of this fruit before.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Listlady, good to see you again. I'm also happy it's a native fruit--right here. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

  • TheListLady profile image

    TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

    Wow - what a great hub. I am certainly going to look for this here in New York City. I am thrilled that you mentioned it is a native berry.

    Thanks so much and rated way up!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Thanks, Sun-girl, good to see you again.

  • Sun-Girl profile image

    Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

    Nice hub, thanks for sharing.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    BKcreative, I'm always happy to see you. You always have so much to add to the hub. I agree, it's time to go back to eating locally and supporting local produce. Thank you for dropping by and rating it up. Many happy returns for your kindness.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Thanks, dallas, glad you find this useful.

    Jean2011, thank you for visiting my hub and rating it up.

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    You know I've heard of chokeberry but did not know aconia berry were one and the same. I am so glad you explained that. And to know this is native plant - wow! I think we should go back to eating locally and native for optimum health. And I see they are higher than prunes on the ORAC scale which is quite amazing. Wow!

    I cannot thank you enough for this magnificent hub that I must bookmark and share - and now look for chokeberries.

    Rated up of course. Yay! (Love your new photo!)

  • jean2011 profile image

    jean2011 6 years ago from Canada

    Very informative hub! Thank you for sharing. I have voted this hub useful.

  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    I too learned! Thanks for sharing. Flag up!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Om, for all you know, it's growing in your backyard! Thanks for dropping by to comment.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    Hi, Google Gal, i didn't hear about this miracle fruit until somone told and that really piqued my curiosity. I did some research and have to tell you that I'm really fascinated by this fruit. I'm going to try to buy one of the plants to have this superfruit in my backyard. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    Very interesting. I think I have seen these berries before but didn't know what they're called. I'll look for Aronia berry jam next time I visit my local natural-food store. :)

  • Google Gal profile image

    Google Gal 6 years ago

    I have never heard of this berry but its very interesting - thanks for sharing so much knowledge :)

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