If you’re looking for a superberry to give your health a boost, you need to try lingonberries. They are chock-full of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Small but powerful, lingonberries have a lot of nutritional and medicinal benefits, which makes them a delicious and healthy addition to the diet. If you want to learn more, keep reading!
What are Lingonberries?
Scientifically known as Vaccinium vitis-ideaea, lingonberries are a small, semi-sour fruit that belongs to the same plant family as cranberries and blueberries. The perennial plant on which the berry grows is native to the subarctic and arctic regions.
Whether you choose to eat them cooked or raw, they are unquestionably delicious. In today’s day and age, lingonberries are considered to be a greater berry than cranberries. Both of these are a great choice for shakes, juices and jams. It is often used in various regions of Scandinavia, especially for making jams, but it is also a popular breakfast spread for crepes, toasts and pancakes.
The sauces and jams made from lingonberries are frequently used for spicing up meat dishes. For example, Swedish meatballs are often served with a side of cranberry sauce. Yum!
Lingonberries are hugely distributed across the northern hemisphere, including Canada, Greenland, Northern United States and Scandinavia. Like most berries, lingonberries don’t just taste delicious, they are also oozing with healthy nutrients.
Nutritional Facts of Lingonberries
A 100-gram serving of lingonberries has about 53 calories, 1.2 grams of fat and 11.5 grams of carbohydrates. The berries also contain minimal amounts of dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as small quantities of the vitamin B complex family. Not only that, but they also have erratic levels of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Lingonberry vs. Other Berries
You might be wondering if you should forego other kinds of berries to obtain the myriad of health benefits lingonberries offer. Variety is always good though, because different foods have different effects on the body. Lingonberries are part of the same family as cranberries and blueberries and has similar health benefits. All of these have powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. This qualifies lingonberries as a “superberry.”
Health Benefits of Lingonberry
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of lingonberries:
- Boosts oral health. We know too well that bacteria may easily form in the mouth, causing plaque. Studies suggest that consuming various antimicrobial foods, like lingonberry, helps reduce the risk bacteria forming.
- Helps reduce UTIs in women. You may have heard about the possible relief cranberry juice gives for UTI symptoms. Lingonberry is also a great choice for those suffering from E. coli sickness.
- May prevent the growth cancerous cell. Studies suggest that there are ten different fruits and berries, including lingonberries, that help reduce colon cancer and breast cancer cells. This is undeniably one of the best health benefits of lingonberries.
- Helps reduce inflammation. One study found that those who consumed lingonberries obtained larger levels of quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This is beneficial in treating chronic inflammation issues like arthritis.
- Rich in antioxidants. Lingonberries are oozing with antioxidants, which is beneficial in preventing bacterial infections, like staphylococcus. Usually, you get a staph infection from eating foods infected with the bacteria. There is a higher risk of this if the food is shipped, processed or handled.
Lingonberry concentrate is fine if taken orally as directed, but it’s not safe to use lingonberry leaves for long periods of time as it may cause vomiting and nausea. Furthermore, there are concerns with regards to liver damage because it can kill some of the bacteria in the urine, but more studies are needed to confirm this. As always, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should speak to your doctor before trying new foods.