Native to North America and also known as chokeberries, aronia berries are gaining popularity over acai and goji berries for super high concentrations of anthocyanins – or the dark blue almost black pigment that amps up the fruits antioxidant capability to the point of being medicinal. We always joke that all the superfoods come from the Andes, so this is great news for American farmers who are cashing in on the Whole Foods revolution. I promise you will see this superfruit everywhere in the next 5 years because of it’s pest resistance, sustainability, and demand commercially. Blue-black is the new green and aronia berries are the new kale.
Research at the Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology and Biochemistry at Medical University in Varna, Bulgaria demonstrates pronounced anti-inflammatory effects, improved liver function, and gastrointestinal protection from aronia fruit juice in lab rats. Antibiotic and anti-viral properties of aronia juice were also noted by the researchers. In the presence of aronia juice, Staph aureus and E. coli would not reproduce in the petri dish as well as type A influenza virus. The authors cite that aronia berries “normalize the carbohydrate metabolism in diabetic patients and in streptozotocin-diabetic rats, have an in vitro antimutagenic activity and exhibit a distinct immunomodulatory activity in human lymphocyte cultures and in patients with breast cancer, suppress the growth of human HT-29 colon cancer cells, inhibit the N-nitrosamine formation in rats and decrease the toxicity and cumulation of cadmium in liver and kidneys.”
On a lighter note, other research indicates that ingesting aronia juice prior to exercise reduces cell damage (oxidative stress) by boosting the body’s natural antioxidant defenses. Read more about aronia here and check out this resource for buying freeze-dried organic aronia as well as jelly, syrup, and other aronia berry food items.