What are Aroniaberries? This pea size fruit grows on a deciduous shrub In Eastern North America. The shrub has red or black berries but it is the black variety that has the most nutritional value. According to Jo Robinson, the Author of Eating on the Wild Side, the black or dark purple berries have five times more antioxidants than the most nutritious blueberries.
The ORAC value (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples.) is off the chart compared to the typical berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Aroniaberries also have the highest anthocyanin concentrations (pigments), and are very high in proanthocyanidins (tannins), in addition to a lot of other polyphenols. Aroniaberries have been used in scientific research because of their extremely high levels of these phytonutrients. Following an initial review of the available clinical data there is evidence to suggest that regular Aroniaberry consumption may:
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol levels
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce the chance of a heart attack
- Reduce recovery time following a heart attack
- Reduce weight gain
- Reduce eye inflammation
- Reduce muscle recovery time after workouts
- Regulate Blood sugar
- Reduce the chance of developing cancer
(Source: Bellbrook Berry Farm)
Digging more into the compounds found in this native berry, scientists have found a number of more specific agents, including caffeic acid, cyanidin-3-galactoside, delphinidin, epicatechin, malvidin, and many more. You’ll likely never have to remember these names, but to health researchers, the presence of these compounds in aronia is big news. (Source: Fox News)
The common name for Aroniaberries is “Chokeberries.” These berries are not sweet, they are very astringent. When you eat one it is very drying and makes your mouth pucker. Aronia or Chokeberries can be eaten off the bush, or used in jams, jellies, teas, wines, syrups, and smoothies. It is very rare to find fresh Aroniaberries but lucky for Ellwood Thompsons Local Market, when the berries are in season, we can get grown for us by VSU Agricultural School in Petersburg. Now, we also have the berries in our frozen section of our store and in concentrate in our produce department.