Aronia - highest-antioxidant berry juice
Aronia - highest-antioxidant berry
Aronia is the name for a very dark berry, native to the Americas, but far more popular in Eastern Europe, where its juice is known to help people with heart conditions. When I lived in Poland, it was a fairly popular juice drink, and people commonly told me it was good for the health. I also heard it was far more popular in Russia.
I tried it for the first time in Poland, and the taste is extremely tart. The natural juice is best sweetened, because the juice itself, like cranberry juice, is just too strong-tasting. Sweetened, it tastes a bit like a cross between blackberry and blueberry, although probably not as fragrant as the latter. The juice has a very dark purple color.
Aronia health benefits
Aronia berries have the highest levels of natural antioxidants of any fruit.
More than even blueberries and the vaunted pomegranate, aronia berries are the richest fruit source of anthocyanins and other antioxidants. Several studies have shown aronia to help with:
Aronia has an ORAC (oxygen radical absorptive capacity - a measure of an antioxidant's power to neutralize free radicals) value higher than any other food. This is due to the high concentration of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, both of which contribute to aronia's dark, almost black, color.
Available at Trader Joe's
I recently saw a 1-quart bottle of organic aronia juice (surprisingly unsweetened, so don't feel bashful about chilling it and sweetening it if it's a bit too tart for your liking), for $3.99 at our local Trader Joe's.
Aronia berry "cocktail" (since it was sweetened and diluted) used to be available at CostCo under the brand name Wildland, but they discontinued their product after 2 years due to heavy price competition from Ocean Spray.