Properties and Benefits of Aronia Berries: A wild berry species native to North America, aronia has been the object of intense scientific study over the past few years. According to the international scientific community, aronia berries have surprisingly high nutritional benefits. Moreover, the species boasts concentrated levels of anthocyanins, natural purple, blue and red pigments with outstanding health effects.
In addition to this, aronia berries have the highest antioxidant content of all known fruits, and scientists believe that regular consumption can be incredibly beneficial for human health. They also contain generous amounts of vitamins C and K as well as manganese, three essential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients of great importance to our health.
Aronia berries grow on shrubs and come in a variety of colors: Aronia arbutifolia or red aronia, Aronia prunifolia or purple aronia and Aronia melanocarpa or black aronia. Aronia are surprisingly resilient to extreme weather conditions which is why gardeners have become very found of these beautiful, feisty shrubs.
To an untrained eye, aronia plants can be easily mistaken for other berry varieties. However, these small, round, smooth, colorful berries have a tiny, star-like distinctive mark which can help one tell them apart from other varieties. In addition to this, the Aronia melanocarpa variety, for instance, changes its leaf color in autumn, turning a rich, rubiginous color.
The color of the black aronia berry and that of its leaves are a rich source of anthocyanins and are indicative of an incredibly high antioxidant content. Anthocyanins basically protect the aronia shrub against radiation damage coming from ultraviolet rays. It is believed that regular consumption of the berries can have the same protective and rejuvenating effects on people.
But regardless of the variety, aronia berries in general contain significantly higher concentrations of anthocyanins than any other fruit: approximately 1480 mg/100 g of fresh fruit. Also, 100 g of fresh berries contain 664 mg of proanthocyanidins.
Because they are incredibly rich in anthocyanins, aronia berries are believed to efficiently protect against debilitating neurological diseases, inflammation, cancer, diabetes as well as bacterial infections.
Moreover, due to their high antioxidant content, they help protect the body against free radical action and repair any cell damage caused by oxidation processes. Interesting fact: anthocyanins are pigments responsible for the naturally occurring shades of red, blue and purple in plants. Aside from potent antioxidant effects, anthocyanins provide brightly-colored fruits and leaves which are meant to attract pollinating animals, birds or bees which help the plants reproduce.
Preliminary laboratory studies have shown that aronia extracts can efficiently prevent tumor development. When targeting specific cancers, the extract appeared to inhibit the growth of tumors. Chemically induced esophagus cancer in rats was reduced with about 60%, while colon tumors were reduced with about 80%.
Overall, research appears to be very promising. Moreover, multiple studies show that a regular consumption of berries (blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrant, mulberries, red and yellow raspberries and aronia berries) significantly reduces the risks of developing various forms of cancer. Berries are a rich source of polyphenols, natural substances such as anthocyanins with potent antioxidant effects.
Aside from this, aronia berries are a great source of vitamins and minerals. For instance, the berries provide 35% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Among other functions, vitamin C supports the production of collagen, boosts immunity and reduces inflammation within the body. Note that inflammation is the cause for many debilitating, life-threatening conditions.
Moreover, the species contains vitamins K, A, E and B9. This means it supports bone health, promotes good vision, beautiful skin and helps the body make good use of nutrients. Aronia berries provide 32% of the RDI of manganese, a mineral with excellent antioxidant properties. Potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc are other nutrients also found in the berries.
Overall, aronia berries provide numerous, wonderful health benefits, provided they are consumed fresh. If you have a passion for gardening, the species promises to be the pride and joy of your garden and it really doesn’t require much attention at all. If you are sceptic about the health benefits of the berries, I advise you to try them and simply see if they deliver the promised results.
A regular consumption of the berries, as part of a healthy, balanced diet should tell you all you need to know about their properties and health effects. You can opt for fresh berries or a delicious glass of aronia juice. Either way, you will enjoy a treat and get on the path to a truly healthy lifestyle.