Aronia berries, also called chokeberries, are known for their sharp, sour, and dry taste. Learn about the benefits of this antioxidant-rich fruit
Aronia berries, also called chokeberries, are small, dark purple berries that grow in the wild woods of North America. They are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients that promote healthy growth of cells and protect tissues from damage.
In addition to being nutritious, aronia berries are popular for their distinctively sharp, sour taste. This is due to chemicals called tannins, which leave the mouth feeling dry when consumed. For younger people, this taste may be too bitter or astringent.
7 health benefits of aronia berries
- Antioxidant properties: Aronia berries are rich in antioxidants as well as polyphenols, which inhibit free radicals in the bloodstream. This reduces the risk of cellular damage and promotes the growth of healthy tissues. Studies have suggested that aronia berries reduce risk of organ damage, especially the liver.
- Boosts immunity: Antioxidants can strengthen the immune system. Aronia berry extracts also have antibacterial properties, which can reduce the risk of infections in the body.
- Improves heart health: Aronia berries may improve blood circulation and help lower blood pressure, preventing the formation of atherosclerosis (buildup of fat deposits in the blood vessels). This in turn reduces the risk of heart diseases. Antioxidants protect the heart cells from free radical damage, as well as lower high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Lowers blood sugar levels: Aronia berries may potentially help prevent diabetes by reducing insulin resistance and lowering blood glucose levels in the body. They may also help with weight loss and fighting inflammation associated with diabetes.
- Protects kidneys: Aronia berries protect the kidneys from damage in two ways: by protecting kidney cells from oxidative stress and by regulating blood pressure levels. Aronia berries also prevent urinary tract infections.
- Fights cancer: Studies have suggested that aronia berries may help protect the body against some cancers, including breast and colon cancer. Studies have shown that women with breast cancer who consumed aronia berries had lower levels of free radicals in the blood, which reduced the risk of oxidative stress.
- Anti-aging properties: Aronia berries may help protect the skin from harsh environmental factors such as pollution, smoking, and ultraviolet radiation, which can lead to wrinkles and aging skin.
How to incorporate aronia berries in your diet
Aronia berries can be eaten raw, although they can be quite bitter. You can add them as toppings or consume them in other forms:
- Fresh juice
- Baked goods
Additionally, you can purchase ready made aronia berry supplements that are sold as liquids, pills, gummies, etc.
What are the side effects of aronia berries?
Although the side effects associated with aronia berries have not been well documented, some studies have suggested that aronia berry consumption can cause:
- Dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal obstruction and constipation
- Food allergy
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced blood clotting time
- Interference with medications, such as diabetes drugs and blood thinners
Except for the fruit, other parts of the plant such as the seeds and leaves are poisonous because they contain cyanide
Since the FDA does not regulate aronia berry extracts, it is recommended to consult a doctor before taking any supplements that contain aronia berries.