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Aronia berry (Aronia melanocarpa) is a small, round fruit native to North America and is also grown across Europe. Aronia berry also called chokeberry or black chokeberry, grow on shrubs of the Rosaceae family  . They are called chokeberries because of their sharp taste that dries the mouth. Aronia berries are black and red in colour and can be eaten fresh on their own or used as an ingredient in foods such as juices, jams, purees and wine production.
Aronia berries possess numerous health-promoting activities like antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, antibacterial, antiviral, radioprotective and immunomodulatory properties. They also contain anthocyanins and procyanidins, which possess strong antioxidant effects .
As per a 2015 study in Food Technology & Biotechnology, aronia berries have the highest polyphenol content among 143 plants .
Nutritional Value Of Aronia Berries
100 g of aronia berries contain 47 kcal energy and they also contain:
- 1.4 g protein
- 0.5 g fat
- 9.6 g carbohydrate
- 5.3 g fibre
- 4.3 g sugar
- 30.0 mg calcium
- 1.4 mg iron
- 105 mg potassium
- 1.0 mg sodium
- 0.8 mg zinc
- 0.6 mg manganese
- 350 IU vitamin A
- 21.0 mg vitamin C
- 1.6 mg vitamin E
- 13.6 mcg vitamin K
- 24.0 mcg folate
Health Benefits Of Aronia Berries
1. Prevent chronic diseases
Aronia berries are high in polyphenol antioxidants which are known to promote good health and keep chronic diseases at bay. As per a 2017 review study, aronia berries have the potent ability to prevent chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders .
2. Lower blood pressure
Researchers found that aronia berries are effective in reducing blood pressure and may help combat high blood pressure in the arteries . Another animal study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity showed that aronia berries contain active substances that may have a positive effect on blood pressure .
3. Improve liver function
Noted studies have shown that consuming aronia berry juice can help improve liver function. An animal study published in Functional Foods in Health & Disease found that aronia berries have a beneficial effect on liver fibrosis and can reduce the risk of liver cancer . Another similar study also found that aronia juice may protect liver damage .
4. Promote heart health
Aronia berries are rich in antioxidants that may improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition reported that patients with metabolic syndrome who were given 100 mg of aronia extract daily thrice a day for two months had a significant reduction in triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels .
5. Strengthen immunity
According to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, aronia berries possess immunomodulatory properties that can help prevent bacterial and viral diseases . A study showed that aronia berry extract exhibited strong antibacterial activity against harmful bacteria like Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus .
Another 2013 study found that ellagic acid and myricetin in aronia berry extract may protect against the influenza virus .
6. Reduce diabetes risk
Many studies have focused on the consumption of aronia berries, aronia berry juice or aronia berry extract and its effect on diabetes. A review study showed that aronia berries have antidiabetic properties that can effectively improve glucose metabolism, so consuming these berries may help in the treatment of diabetes  . However, further research studies are needed in humans.
7. Prevent UTI
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system - the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. It most commonly affects women. A 2014 study published in the Nutrition Research found that drinking aronia berry juice daily can help decrease urinary tract infections .
8. Manage cancer risk
Several studies have reported the anti-cancer properties of aronia berries, thanks to its antioxidant activity   . A 2004 study looked at the effects of grape, bilberry and aronia extract in stopping the growth of colon cancer. The study found that while all the extracts stopped the growth of colon cancer cells, aronia berry had the strongest effect .
Another 2009 study found that aronia berry extract helped lower cell damage linked to breast cancer .
Possible Risks Of Aronia Berry
Aronia berries are safe to eat and have no serious side effects. However, these berries have an astringent taste so it can leave your mouth feeling dry so you may not want to eat them on their own. Instead, you can add aronia berries to smoothies, juices and yogurt .
Ways To Add Aronia Berries In Your Diet
- You can eat aronia berries in fresh or dried form.
- Add them to fruit juices and smoothies.
- Add aronia berries tom cakes, cookies, muffins and pies.
- Use aronia berries to make jams, tea and wine.