(NaturalNews) Aronia is a North American shrub that bears fruits which resemble dark purple-colored cranberries. Despite their ordinary appearance, however, these fruits - which are commonly called aronia berries or chokeberries - boast an unusually impressive nutritional profile. Indeed, a couple of years ago, many mainstream newspapers - notably the United Kingdom's Daily Mail - ran stories claiming that aronia berries were the healthiest fruits in the world. While these claims are debatable, research has shown that the regular consumption of aronia berries in preserved, dried or juiced form provides us with numerous health benefits.
The benefits of aronia berries
Incredibly rich in antioxidants - The aronia berry is bursting with so many antioxidants that it is almost inedible when raw due to its extreme sharpness. Indeed, the USDA gave the raw aronia berry an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of 15,280 umol per 100 grams, meaning that it contains almost three times as many antioxidants as the blackberry, acai berry and blueberry and one-and-a-half times as many antioxidants as the cranberry and blackcurrant. Even when sweetened and made into jams and spreads, aronia berries still contain more antioxidants - including essential flavonoids and anthocyanins - than any other superfruit. Antioxidants inhibit the activity of cell-destroying free radicals, thereby guarding us from cancer and other degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and macular degeneration. Rich in dietary fiber - Aronia berries are an excellent source of fiber, making them effective natural laxatives that can help remove accumulated matter from the colon. Consequently, they can also prevent colon cancer while promoting natural weight loss in overweight individuals. Iron and vitamin C - 100 grams of dried aronia berries provides us with 93 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, which plays a critical role in the body's oxidation processes and can only be acquired from external sources, since our bodies cannot make it. 100 grams of dried aronia berries also provides us with 34 percent of our recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which plays a central role in the formation of collagen and has numerous anti-aging benefits. Boost cardiovascular health - Aronia berries can boost blood circulation and blood vessel strength thanks to their ability to neutralize free radicals, which are a leading cause of cardiovascular issues. They also prevent the formation of blood clots, thereby minimizing the chances of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. High in quinic acid - Aronia berries contain unsurpassed levels of quinic acid, making them even more effective than cranberry juice for treating urinary tract infections. Moreover, quinic acid increases the acidity of urine, thus inhibiting the growth of kidney stones. Sources for this article include:
About the author: Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.