There are lots and lots of kinds of berries all over the world. One of which is the chokeberry. Have you ever heard of this before? Do you know what kind of berry this is? Well, actually, the chokeberry is a kind of berry that is native to North America and is one of the most powerful groups when it comes to its antioxidant content. Not just antioxidant content, chokeberries also have a lot more essential nutrients with it that are all beneficial for the betterment of the overall health. Not only that, but these nutrients are also what make up the necessary health benefits of chokeberries. There is more to chokeberries than meets the eye. Give this article a read and get to learn more about chokeberries.
Chokeberries: What are these?
As what I have said earlier, chokeberries are a kind of berries that are native to North America. It is also one of the most powerful groups based on their antioxidant content. This is part of the reasons why they are so extensively popular for their culinary applications. Not to mention their distinct flavor. Scientifically, they are part of the Aronia genus, which has about 6 different species commonly present in varying colors. Nevertheless, the most common is the Aronia melanocarpa. The term chokeberry actually comes from the tart quality of the berry, as well as the fact that it frequently makes the mouth pucker when eating it. The flavor of chokeberries actually becomes even more palatable when the berries get sweetened or being used in several dishes.
It is so easy to confuse the chokeberries with some other distinct varieties of berry in the plant family of Rosaceae. This is since the appearance and the organic components of it are somewhat the same as the other valuable berries. Nevertheless, the chokeberries stand out, especially when it comes to its nutritional value. As a matter of fact, chokeberries are rich in flavonoids, carotenes, anthocyanins, and some other organic antioxidants. In addition to the minerals and vitamins, these amazing super berries may also play a significant role in boosting the health, as well as treating or preventing a lot of medical conditions.
Moreover, the chokeberries are typically used in syrup, wine, ice cream, beer, juice, yogurt, beverage flavoring, cakes, desserts, and candies, among others. This wide array of use is mainly due to its distinctly unique flavor and its underlying health benefits.
Nutritional Facts of Chokeberries
The chokeberries are low in fats and calories. A hundred grams of fresh chokeberries has about 50 calories. Nevertheless, they’re one of the richest sources of flavonoid anthocyanin antioxidants. Furthermore, they also contain good levels of vitamins and minerals. Not only that, the peels of the berries are also a good source of dietary fiber.
Furthermore, there is also a significantly high amount of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals in it, known as anthocyanins. This, in particular, is essential in scavenging the dangerous effects of oxygen-free radicals in that is from the body.
Chokeberries are also rich in flavonoid antioxidants like zeaxanthin, lutein, and carotenes. Moreover, they are also good sources of various antioxidant vitamins like folate, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin A. As well as minerals like manganese, iron, and potassium, among others.
Health Benefits of Chokeberries
Here are some of the more astonishing health benefits of chokeberries:
- Helps in preventing and managing diabetes. The dietary fiber content of chokeberries are essential in increasing the insulin regulation that helps in keeping the blood sugar at normal levels, as well as prevent the spikes and drops, which may be very dangerous to those who are suffering from diabetes.
- Possesses antibacterial properties. Research shows that the chokeberries have a direct impact on the common flu, as well as the bacterial infections in our gut and respiratory systems. This is what makes it a famous preventive treatment fusing the flu season and a great snack if you’re feeling the starting symptoms of cold.
- Helps in improving the vision. The carotenes present in the chokeberries are essential in reducing the oxidative stress, thus preventing the onset of macular degeneration, as well as slowing or preventing the onset of cataracts.
- Helps in boosting the immune system. The antioxidant properties of the chokeberries are essential in stimulating the activity of white blood cells and is important in the collagen production.
- Helps in preventing cancer. Research shows that the anthocyanin in the chokeberries are essential in reducing the risk of colon cancer. This is one of the best, if not the best among all the health benefits of chokeberries.
- Aids in digestion. The dietary fiber in chokeberries are essential in facilitating the smooth digestion. This is by way of bulking up the stools. This is essential in eliminating stomach discomforts, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation.
Caution on the Consumption of Chokeberries
The chokeberries aren’t actually known as a commonly allergenic food and limited side effects have been reported. Nevertheless, due to the powerful combination of chemical compounds, the body may react differently than the others. Therefore, monitoring the reactions of the body when adding it to the diet for the first time is necessary.