Do you know what wheatgrass, spirulina, and aronia berries have in common? They are what we call superfoods. As the name suggests, these are foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories, making them popular among people today. Research shows that aronia berries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, making them one of the healthiest foods out there (1). If you are looking to add a nice punch to your smoothies or salads, aronia berries are the perfect choice for you.
Read through this article to find out how aronia berry benefits us, the possible risks they may pose, and ways to incorporate them into our daily lives.
In This Article
What is Aronia Berry?
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 is aronia berry and where it comes from, let us check out the various health benefits that it offers.
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 are the 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).
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).
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 and obesity in mice. The results were favorable as the authors saw not only a decrease in blood glucose levels but also a decrease in the bodyweight 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.
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).
It Is 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).
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 m/ 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 it is relatively 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 can we 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 gm to 100gms (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
- ½ cup of aronia berries
- ½ cup of water
- 1 apple
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- Wash the fruits before you cut them.
- Cut the apple, banana, and aronia berries into small pieces.
- Put all the fruits in a blend with water and honey.
- Blitz the mixture till it is smooth and no chunks of fruit are left.
- Pour it into a glass and add a stick of cinnamon.
Aronia Berry Salad
- 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
- Heat the pan to medium heat and add olive oil once it is heated.
- Add the brussel sprouts and cook it till it is golden brown.
- Add the acorn squash and continue to cook it till it becomes soft.
- Add aronia berries and pearl onions.
- Season it with salt and pepper.
- Cook everything for 5 minutes on high heat.
- Put it on a plate and enjoy!
Aronia berry is the superfruit of the moment that everyone wants. Loaded with antioxidants and low in calories, aronia berry benefits us in more ways than one, making it one of the healthiest berries to consume. From fighting aging to cancer to protecting your heart, aronia berry benefits us in so many ways. If you want to add this berry to your life, make a simple smoothie out of it or make a nice, light salad with aronia berries to add some color to your diet!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ 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).
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- Phenolic Content, Antioxidant Capacity and Quality of Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Products
- Aronia plants: a review of traditional use, biological activities, and perspectives for modern medicine
- Microdried Aronia Berries
- Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) Reduces Ethanol-Induced Gastric Damage via Regulation of HSP-70, NF-κB, and MCP-1 Signaling
- Effects of commercial anthocyanin-rich extracts on colonic cancer and nontumorigenic colonic cell growth
- Improvement of Blood Glucose Levels and Obesity in Mice given Aronia Juice by Inhibition of Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV and α-Glucosidase
- Radical-Scavenging-Linked Antioxidant Activities of Extracts from Black Chokeberry and Blueberry Cultivated in Korea
- Polyphenols from Berries of Aronia Melanocarpa Reduce the Plasma Lipid Peroxidation Induced by Ziprasidone
- Effects of Aronia Berry (poly)phenols on Vascular Function and Gut Microbiota: a Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial in Adult Men
- Variable Effects of LDL Subclasses of Cholesterol on Endothelial Nitric Oxide/Peroxynitrite Balance – The Risks and Clinical Implications for Cardiovascular Disease
- Short-term Supplementation with Aronia Melanocarpa Extract Improves Platelet aggregation, Clotting, and Fibrinolysis in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome
- Effects of Aronia Extract on Lifespan and Age-Related Oxidative Stress in Drosophila Melanogaster
- An Extract from Berries of Aronia Melanocarpa Modulates the Generation of Superoxide Anion Radicals in Blood Platelets from Breast Cancer Patients
- Antimicrobial Activity of Extracts from Fruits of Aronia Melanocarpa and Sorbus Aucuparia
- Antiviral Activity of Plant Juices and Green Tea Against SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza Virus In Vitro
- Antiobesity Effect of Fermented Chokeberry Extract in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice
- Black Chokeberry Aronia Melanocarpa L.—A Qualitative Composition, Phenolic Profile and Antioxidant Potential
- The Involvement of a Polyphenol-Rich Extract of Black Chokeberry in Oxidative Stress on Experimental Arterial Hypertension
- Phenolic Content, Antioxidant Capacity and Quality of Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Products