If ever there were a super food, aronia berries would definitely be in the running for first place. These little berries are small on the outside, but don’t let appearances fool you, inside they are one of natures greatest gift to humanity!
Let’s start by describing these berries: they are small, round and very dark blue, almost black. Color is THE most important characteristic about these berries, because their color is given to them by a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are what give them and other bright berries, fruits and vegetables their antioxidant superpowers. The difference is that aronia berries have far more Anthocyanins and other antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables (1,480mg Anthocyanin content per 100g vs. 888mg in red grapes, 589 in black raspberries, 558 in blueberries and 320 in acai, for example).
What does this mean for you? It means aronia berries can:
1. Fight and prevent cancer:
A University of Ohio study found that the high anthocyanin content in aronia berries not only completely stopped the growth of cancer cells, but also killed roughly 20 percent of these cells. In this study focused on colon cancer cells, aronia berries left all other fruits and vegetables in the dust, making them reign supreme as a natural supplement in the fight against cancer.
Another study in Murcia, Spain ( conducted by the Grupo de Investigacion en Calidad, Seguridad y Bioactividad de Alimentos Vegetales) found that aronia juice inhibits genes involved in cancer cell growth, reduces cell proliferation and regulates suppressor genes involved in growth of carcinomas.
2. Help control diabetes
A study by the Medical University in Varna, Bulgaria found that daily consumption of 200 ml of aronia berry juice by diabetes patients lowered their fasting blood glucose and lipid levels, resulting in a more stable level of insulin.
3. Help prevent heart disease
In a 2006 study by the Indiana University School of Medicine, researchers concluded that berry anthocyanins may also be important for the protection of blood flow in coronary artery disease. The study found that this pigment actually caused the heart arteries to relax, suggesting that colorful berries, especially aronia berries with their high concentration of anthocyanins, are a valuable preventative agent against heart disease too. Additionally, aronia berries were found to inhibit the development of blood clots thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
4. Treats urinary track infections
Aronia berries have also been found to be five to ten times more efficient than cranberries in treating urinary track infections.
The aronia berry could definitely win the contest for the super food; however it won’t win a taste contest anytime soon. Bite into one of these little suckers and you will appreciate why it is also called chokeberry’, as its astringent and tart taste will definitely make you choke and gag. However, fear not, you can still reap the benefits of its plethora of amazing properties by using aronia berries as a main ingredient in distilled spirits, fruit juice and even ice cream a good excuse to add some sweetness to you life!