Aronia Berry Benefits (Chokeberries) And Side Effects

Reviewed by Jenny Champion, Weight Loss, Pregnancy, & Motherhood
Written by Varsha Patnaik, MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Diet & Nutrition Coach

The health benefits of aronia berry have earned it the title of superfood. It is on par with wheatgrass and spirulina, contains a high amount of nutrients, 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.

What is Aronia Berry?

Aronia berry is a superfood with numerous health benefits

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.

Now that we know what aronia berries are and where they come from, let us check out the various health benefits they offer.

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

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. Another study was conducted to see the effect of aronia plant extract on the oxidation caused by antipsychotic medication. Plasma samples were taken from 30 healthy people and then incubated with antipsychotic medication 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 artery and vascular diseases. 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 placebo 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).

  • 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 Gain

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 ).

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. 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

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

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!

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 management. 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 berry the same as elderberry?

No. While both aronia berry and elderberry are berries and originally grown in North America, they are both different types of berries.

What does the aronia berry taste like?

Fresh aronia berries are known for having an astringent taste, which makes them a popular choice in the food industry for jams, wine, and preserves (17).

Does aronia lower blood pressure?

Current research shows that aronia berries are promising in the reduction of blood pressure levels in rats (18).

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.

Sources

  1. 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
      http://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. Black Chokeberry Aronia Melanocarpa L.—A Qualitative Composition, Phenolic Profile and Antioxidant Potential
      https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/20/3710/htm
    18. The Involvement of a Polyphenol-Rich Extract of Black Chokeberry in Oxidative Stress on Experimental Arterial Hypertension
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3600185/
The following two tabs change content below.

Jenny Champion

(MS, RD, CPT)
Jenny is a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and mother of three who is passionate about teaching women how to stop... more

LATEST ARTICLES