Le aronia berries are the fruits of a shrub (Aronia melanocarpa) originally from North America which during the last century has spread widely in theEastern Europe, where they began to be used for the large-scale production of juices, jams and wines, but also as natural food colors.
But popularity of the aronia berries and theirs property she didn't just grow up in the kitchen. Just as Native Americans already used them for the treatment of colds and colonists as an astringent, both in Russia and in Eastern Europe they quickly established themselves as natural remedies for various health problems.
In particular, aronia berries are often used for treating hypertension and atherosclerosis, digestive problems, vitamin deficiencies and hemorrhoids, and are also considered useful in the periods of convalescence.
The merit of these benefits lies above all in their high content of antioxidant molecules.
The properties of aronia berries
In fact, various compounds are hidden in the aronia berries antioxidants, first of all polyphenols, present in higher quantities than those typical of other berries known for their antioxidant properties.
In particular, the content in polyphenols of the aronia berries is similar to that of black currant but it is 2 to 4 times that of blackberries, 4 times that of blueberries, 3 to 8 times that of raspberries. Red currants, cranberries and strawberries also provide lower doses.
However, it is worth remembering that the amount of polyphenols in aronia berries it can change depending on several factors, such as the variety of the plant from which they are harvested, the growing conditions, the harvesting period and the type of storage. In the dehydrated aronia berries for example it tends to be lower the higher the drying temperature has been.
Among the most abundant polyphenols in aronia berries are included anthocyanins and procyanidins; in addition there are chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid and small doses of tannins.
Other important antioxidants present in these fruits are the Vitamin C Vitamin E and carotenoids.
The properties of aronia berries do not end with antioxidants. Inside they are also found B vitamins (including thefolic acid), minerals (mainly potassium and zinc, but also some calcium, magnesium and iron), phytosterols (substances useful against high cholesterol) e pectin (soluble fibers useful in the food industry for their gelling properties).
Finally, these small and sweet purplish berries also contain sugar, sorbitol and small doses of grassi.
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Aronia berries: the benefits
In the face of these properties, aronia berries have been associated with several health benefits. In particular, they are considered allies in the prevention of several chronic pathologies, from cardiovascular problems to diabetes.
An action is also attributed to the aronia berries anti-inflammatory, antitumor and gastroprotective.
However, many studies that have found these effects have been conducted on animal models or on cells grown in the laboratory. In many cases aronia berries have not been used as such but juices, nectars, concentrates or dry extracts. As in many other cases, therefore, the effects of consuming whole food they could be lower.
Aronia berries: where to find them and how to eat them
Keeping these clarifications in mind, from the available evidence it seems clear that introducing aronia berries in a varied and balanced diet means enriching it with a source of beneficial substances. Therefore, where to find them and how to eat them?
If you can't find them in your supermarket, you can look for them in shops dedicated to natural food. Alternatively, you can buy them online directly from the producers, remembering, however, to always rely on safe sales channels.
You can eat the aronia berries in m, or use them to prepare a juice. Online you can find several recipes for sweets and jams.
But always remember that among the principles of a healthy diet is included limitation of the consumption of simple sugars, of which sweets and jams (even those with few added sugars) are an absolutely not negligible source.
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Credit foto: arfo