Aronia Berry Benefits (Chokeberries) And Side Effects

When you learn how good these berries are, you'll keep coming back for more.

Medically reviewed by Jenny Champion, MS, RD, CPT Jenny Champion Jenny ChampionMS, RD, CPT linkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Diet & Nutrition Coach Varsha Patnaik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Diet & Nutrition Coach Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 2.5 years
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The health benefits of aronia berry have earned it the title of superfood. It is on par with wheatgrass and spirulina, provides nutrition, and is low in calories. Aronia berries are considered one of the healthiest foods due to their high antioxidant content (1). If you are looking for something to add a little zing to your smoothies or salads without adding to the calorie count, aronia berries might be a perfect choice.

The following article explores why you should include aronia berries in your diet, associated risks, and ways to incorporate them into your diet. Keep reading to learn more.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Aronia Berry

What Is It?
Chokeberry or Aronia is a genus of the deciduous shrubs of the Rosaceae family that are indigenous to eastern North America.

What Are Its Benefits?
The aronia berry helps improve insulin sensitivity, reduces cancer risk, and it positively affects the vascular function of the heart.

Who Can Consume It?
People looking to add nutritious fruits with exponential health benefits can include them in their diet.

How Often?
You can eat nearly 1 oz or 30 aronia berries a day.

Caution
Excessive eating can cause stomach related issues such as diarrhea.

What is Aronia Berry?

Aronia berry is a superfood with numerous health benefits
Image: Shutterstock

Aronia berries are black-colored berries that grow on shrubs in wet swamps and marshes. Indigenous to North America, aronia berries soon found their way to the Soviet Union and other European countries in the 20th century. Traditionally used by Native American tribes for curing colds, today aronia berries are used in juices, jams, and for producing wine (2). This superfruit is also known as chokeberry due to the tart and mouth-drying aftertaste it leaves in your mouth.

These berries are loaded with various nutrients essential for one’s overall well-being. Learn more about these nutrients in the following section.

Aronia Berry Nutrition

A 100-gram serving of aronia berries offers various nutrients (3). These berries offer about 375 kCal. They are naturally fat-free and have no cholesterol. They also are rich in carbohydrates, with approximately 83.3 grams per serving, and also offer 25 grams of dietary fiber. These berries contain 25 grams of natural sugars that render them a subtle sweetness. Additionally, aronia berries offer essential minerals that include 167 mg of calcium and 3 mg of iron. These berries are sodium-free, which makes them suitable for low-sodium diets.

protip_icon Trivia
There are 3 major varieties of Aronia berries: black, red, and purple. The purple Aronia berry is a natural hybrid of black and red varieties.

These nutrients in aronia berries offer an array of health benefits. Check them out in the next section.

Health Benefits Of Aronia Berries

These little berries come packed with a variety of nutrients that are essential for leading a healthy lifestyle. Let us see what nutrients they contain and how aronia berries benefit us.

  • Loaded With Nutrients

Aronia berries are rich in carbohydrates, calcium, and fiber. The USDA estimates that 100 gms of microdried aronia berries contain 83.3 grams of carbohydrates, 167 grams of calcium, and 25 grams of fiber. This berry also provides a whopping 375 kcal in energy, thus proving how power-packed it is (3).

  • Organ Health

Aronia berries have been shown to contribute to organ health. A study was conducted to see the effect of aronia berry extract on rats diagnosed with gastric ulcers. The rats were given aronia berry extract in the quantities of 50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, and 200mg/kg respectively. The researchers saw a decrease in the formation of gastric injury, thus showing promise, but the same would need to be replicated in humans (4).

  • Cancer-fighting Properties

Did you know that aronia berries have properties that help fight cancer? Research says so. Researchers conducted a study to see the effect of three fruit extracts, bilberry, grape, and aronia berry extracts on colon cancer. When the researchers checked the effect of these three fruit extracts on the cells, they saw that aronia berry extract had the strongest effect in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells (5).

  • Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Aronia berries may help lower blood sugar levels
Image: Shutterstock

Many studies done by researchers show the potency of aronia berry on insulin levels. A study was conducted to see how aronia juice affected the blood glucose levels in obese mice. The results were favorable as the authors saw a decrease in blood glucose levels and the body weight of the mice (6).

  • Excellent Source Of Antioxidants

Studies show that aronia berries are rich in polyphenols, a group of compounds found in plants that are a great source of antioxidants, in comparison to blueberries (7). Antioxidants are compounds that are essential in fighting free radicals, unstable compounds that damage the cells in our body and are linked to various diseases and aging. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it also helps improve the immune system. Another study was conducted to see the effect of aronia plant extract on the oxidation caused by antipsychotic medicationi  Medicine used in the treatment of psychosis as a mood stabilizer, especially during hallucinations and delusions. . Plasma samples were taken from 30 healthy people and then incubated with antipsychotic medicationi  Medicine used in the treatment of psychosis as a mood stabilizer, especially during hallucinations and delusions. and with aronia berry extract. Results showed a decrease in the oxidative stress caused by the medication (8).

  • Artery And Blood Vessel Health

Aronia berries have been attributed to providing protection against arteryi  Refers to a group of heart diseases caused by partial or full blockage of the arteries due to the buildup of plaque. and vascular diseasesi  Diseases that affect blood vessels responsible for the distribution of oxygen and the removal of waste from tissues. . A study was conducted to see the effect of aronia berry on vascular function, where 66 healthy men were asked to consume either aronia berry extract, powder extract, or a placeboi  A substance given to someone as medicine or cure, that has no effect or value but can cause psychological effects due to perception. for 12 weeks. The results showed an improvement in the vascular function and gut bacteria of the subjects, thus showing how powerful aronia berry is (9).

  • May Help Prevent Heart Attacks

Chronic disease such as high cholesterol has been cited as a predictor of developing heart attack (10). There are many foods out there that help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. One of them is aronia berry. A research study was conducted to see the effect of aronia berry extract on patients with metabolic syndrome, which is a group of medical conditions attributed to heart conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. Patients diagnosed with metabolic syndrome were given 100 mg of aronia berry extract thrice a day for two months. The results showed there was a decrease in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and overall cholesterol levels (11).

According to CDC, about 805,000 US adults have a heart attack every year. In 2021, approximately 695,000 people in the country curbed to heart disease — which is one in every five deaths! Additionally, the survey states that from the year 2018 to 2019, the country spent nearly USD 239.9 billion on heart-related ailments per year.

  • The Anti-aging Berry

Dubbed as “The Superberry,”, Aronia Melanocarpa has shown promising results when it comes to aging. Researchers conducted a study to see the effect of aronia extract on age-related oxidative stress and lifespan in fruit flies by administering 2.5 mg/mL. The results showed an 18% increase in lifespan which was attributed to the high presence of antioxidant enzymes (12). While results are optimistic, it is yet to be tested in humans.

  • Anti-carcinogenic Effect

A study was performed to see the effect of aronia berry extract on oxide-free radical cells in women with breast cancer. Blood samples from healthy subjects and women diagnosed with breast cancer were collected and aronia extract was added to it. The results showed a significant decrease in oxidative stress in both groups (13).

  • Antifungal, Antiviral, And Antibacterial

We can see that aronia berries benefit us in more than one way. Researchers studied the extract taken from fresh, dried, and frozen rowan and aronia berries to see their antimicrobial activity. Results revealed that both the berries showed high antibacterial activity (14). A laboratory study conducted in 2021 saw researchers testing the antiviral properties of aronia berries, green tea, and pomegranate against influenza, and the covid virus. The results are optimistic as the scientists saw that aronia berry is highly effective in destroying both the viruses (15).

Weight Loss

Aronia berries may aid in weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

If you are looking for food that can shed those extra pounds without much effort, then aronia berries are your answer. Experts conducted a study to see the effect of fermented aronia berry on obese mice. The mice were fed 100 mg/kg of fermented aronia berry for eight weeks. The results showed a decrease in the body weight of the mice along with better tolerance to glucose (16 ).

protip_icon Trivia
Native Americans used Aronia berries to dye their clothes and to cure meats.

This amazing berry has demonstrated a multitude of ways in which it can benefit us and why it is so popular with consumers today. Let us read next to find out whether these berries pose any possible risk to our health.

Possible Risks And Side Effects

Current research shows that there are no side effects or risks associated with aronia berries and they are generally considered safe to consume (11).

Now that you know aronia berries are safe for consumption, go ahead and gorge on those gorgeous berries and feel the benefits. Let us slide into the next section and see how many aronia berries per day we can eat.

How Much Should I Eat?

Is there a set amount of aronia berries that you are supposed to eat every day? Research studies show different measurements when it comes to eating aronia berries daily. Research done by USDA shows that the estimated amount to be consumed every day is between 12 g to 100 g (3).

Now that you know how many aronia berries we can eat on a daily basis, let us dive into a few ways in which we can add aronia berries to our diet.

How To Get More Aronia Berries In Your Diet

Aronia berries are accepted by the medical community and consumers as a fruit that can easily be included in our lives and can be beneficial for us in multiple ways. You can include aronia berries in your salad, pair it with yogurt as a snack, or even make a smoothie out of it.

Donna Stewart, a blogger, shared that she prefers cooking the berries before consumption as they have a chewy and firm texture. She writes, “The texture of the berry is greatly improved by cooking. I recommend always cooking aronia, no matter how you plan to serve it.” She added, “To my palate, they have a lovely flavor that just happens to come along with other flavors that are less lovely. If you have added some sourness to your recipe and you still find it a bit unpleasant, add something sweet, like sugar, maple syrup, or apple juice (i).”

Here are a few simple recipes you can try at home.

Aronia Berry Smoothie

Aronia berry smoothie with apples and bananas is loaded with nutrients and benefits
Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of aronia berries
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Wash the fruits before you cut them.
  2. Cut the apple, banana, and aronia berries into small pieces.
  3. Put all the fruits in a blend with water and honey.
  4. Blitz the mixture till it is smooth and no chunks of fruit are left.
  5. Pour it into a glass and add a stick of cinnamon.

Aronia Berry Salad

Get aronia berry benefits with a bowl of aronia berry salad
Image: IStock

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of acorn squash, blanched and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of aronia berries
  • 1 cup of blanched brussel sprouts
  • ¼ cup pearl onions
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the pan to medium heat and add olive oil once it is heated.
  2. Add the brussel sprouts and cook it till it is golden brown.
  3. Add the acorn squash and continue to cook it till it becomes soft.
  4. Add aronia berries and pearl onions.
  5. Season it with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook everything for 5 minutes on high heat.
  7. Put it on a plate and enjoy!

Infographic: Aronia Berry: Everything You Need To Know About It

Aronia berries or black chokeberries are revered for their sweet yet astringent flavor. They are used extensively as flavoring agents in jams and juices and to make purees. The infographic below sheds light on interesting facts about aronia berries, their different cultivars, how they compare nutritionally to other berries, and how to incorporate them into your diet. Check it out.

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Summary

Aronia berries or chokeberries are delicious black-colored berries native to North America. These berries are frequently used in confectioneries, jams, juices, pulps, and dietary supplements. The benefits of aronia berries can be attributed to their potent antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help promote your overall health. In addition, they possess natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help promote heart and stomach health. The antioxidants in aronia berries help reduce the harmful free radicals present in your body. The berries may also aid in weight loss. Regular intake can offer great benefits. However, excess use can cause problems. If you experience any adverse effects, limit their consumption and seek medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is aronia good for the liver?

Yes. According to a study conducted on mice, aronia berries have beneficial effects on liver fibrosisi  A medical condition that causes scarring or accumulation of scar tissue in the liver, adversely affecting its regular functions. and reduce the risk of liver cancer and insulin resistance (18).

Is aronia berry a blood thinner?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that aronia berries reduce the markers of blood clotting in people with metabolic syndrome. However, limited data is available to prove this claim.

Is aronia good for the skin?

According to one study, ethanol extracts of aronia berries brighten the skin through the ultrasonication process (19).

Is aronia good for diabetes?

Yes. Aronia berries exhibit anti-diabetic activity, which helps decrease the increased blood glucose level (20).

Is aronia good for gout?

Yes. Aronia berries can reduce gout. They were also found to suppress ankle swelling in rats due to acute gout (21). However, more studies on humans are required.

Are aronia berries high in oxalates?

Yes. Too much consumption of aronia berries and their by-products is not recommended due to their oxalate concentrations (22).

Are aronia berries high in pectin?

Yes. Apart from polyphenols, aronia berries are rich in pectini  A gel-like water-soluble substance found in plants. It helps bind the cell walls together and is beneficial for human health. (23).

Key Takeaways

  • Aronia berries are used in juices, jams, and wine production.
  • Aronia berry extract inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
  • The antiviral properties of Aronia berries are highly effective against influenza and the covid virus.
aronia berry benefits

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Get ready to be amazed by the hidden powers of Aronia berries! Check out this video to discover the incredible benefits of this superfood powerhouse and enhance your well-being.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Phenolic Content, Antioxidant Capacity and Quality of Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Products
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5068402/
  2. Aronia plants: a review of traditional use, biological activities, and perspectives for modern medicine
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20170359/
  3. Microdried Aronia Berries
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/438229/nutrients
  4. Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) Reduces Ethanol-Induced Gastric Damage via Regulation of HSP-70, NF-κB, and MCP-1 Signaling
    https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/6/1195/htm
  5. Effects of commercial anthocyanin-rich extracts on colonic cancer and nontumorigenic colonic cell growth
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15453676/
  6. Improvement of Blood Glucose Levels and Obesity in Mice given Aronia Juice by Inhibition of Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV and α-Glucosidase
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955286316000413
  7. Radical-Scavenging-Linked Antioxidant Activities of Extracts from Black Chokeberry and Blueberry Cultivated in Korea
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24176315/
  8. Polyphenols from Berries of Aronia Melanocarpa Reduce the Plasma Lipid Peroxidation Induced by Ziprasidone
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25061527/
  9. Effects of Aronia Berry (poly)phenols on Vascular Function and Gut Microbiota: a Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial in Adult Men
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31152545/
  10. Variable Effects of LDL Subclasses of Cholesterol on Endothelial Nitric Oxide/Peroxynitrite Balance – The Risks and Clinical Implications for Cardiovascular Disease
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6874513/
  11. Short-term Supplementation with Aronia Melanocarpa Extract Improves Platelet aggregation, Clotting, and Fibrinolysis in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21850495/
  12. Effects of Aronia Extract on Lifespan and Age-Related Oxidative Stress in Drosophila Melanogaster
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6049801/
  13. An Extract from Berries of Aronia Melanocarpa Modulates the Generation of Superoxide Anion Radicals in Blood Platelets from Breast Cancer Patients
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19444773/
  14. Antimicrobial Activity of Extracts from Fruits of Aronia Melanocarpa and Sorbus Aucuparia
    https://eeb.lu.lv/EEB/201312/EEB_11_Liepina.pdf
  15. Antiviral Activity of Plant Juices and Green Tea Against SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza Virus In Vitro
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.30.360545v2
  16. Antiobesity Effect of Fermented Chokeberry Extract in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30457472/
  17. Aronia Berry Supplementation Mitigates Inflammation in T Cell Transfer-Induced Colitis by Decreasing Oxidative Stress
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31212794/
  18. Effectiveness of aronia berries for reduction of mild fibrosis and gene expression analysis in livers from mice fed a high-fat diet with aronia berries
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318470419_Effectiveness_of_aronia_berries_for_reduction_of_mild_fibrosis_and_gene_expression_analysis_in_livers_from_mice_fed_a_high-fat_diet_with_aronia_berries
  19. Enhancement of Skin Whitening Activities of Aronia melanocarpa by Ultrasonication Extraction Process at Low Temperature
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287291979_Enhancement_of_Skin_Whitening_Activities_of_Aronia_melanocarpa_by_Ultrasonication_Extraction_Process_at_Low_Temperature
  20. The Effect of Aronia Berry on Type 1 Diabetes In Vivo and In Vitro
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29470134/
  21. Aronia melanocarpa ameliorates gout and hyperuricemia in animal models
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09540105.2018.1541967
  22. Aronia melanocarpa Products and By-Products for Health and Nutrition: A Review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8300639/
  23. Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Functional Beverages Increase HDL-Cholesterol Levels in Aging Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8304029/
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Jenny Champion

Jenny ChampionMS, RD, CPT

Jenny is a registered dietitian and a personal trainer with 10 years of experience. This mother of three is passionate about teaching women how to stop yo-yo dieting, have healthy pregnancies, and get back in shape after childbirth. After dealing with eating disorders and weight problems herself, she has helped over 1,000 women change their lives by eating more of...read full bio

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