Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of The Chokeberry

What makes it berry good?
aronia berry/ chokeberry health benefits
Aronia berries are more antioxidant-rich than blueberries. |Photo by BigStock

Articles abound enumerating the list of health benefits provided by the aronia berry, commonly known as the chokeberry. In addition to its rich store of antioxidants, which are believed to guard against cancer, the berries are a good source of fiber, iron and vitamin C.

PROVEN BENEFITS: Dale Nelson of Bellbrook Berry Farm can cite study after study from the University of Ohio to the University of Connecticut to the University of Oregon that justify growers’ excitement over the berry’s potential as a health food.

Studies have shown that aronia berries help protect against colon cancer, heart attacks, stomach problems and breast cancer. A growing body of scientific research shows promising results on other diseases as well. The effects are due to the berry’s potent anti-inflammatory properties.  A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture published in Science Daily showed that rats fed aronia for an extended period of time weighed less than the control group, had improved blood sugar and lower body fat, especially in the lower abdominal regions. The effects, the study said, would lead to lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.

RELATED: Aronia Berries: America’s Newest Antioxidant-Rich Superfruit

MENTAL HEALTH: A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that other chemicals and compounds in aronia inhibit the production of cholinesterase, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and senile dementia. In  a study published in the Official Journal of the European Atherosclerosis Society, 44 people who had  experienced a heart attack were given the equivalent of one berry three times a day. Even that small amount of aronia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

“Probably the biggest medical benefit of aronia is that it seems to be a strong, natural inflammatory,” Dale said. “Almost all disease seems to be inflammatory. That’s why aronia seems to be a benefit for these different diseases.”

For more information on the chokeberry, visit Bellbrook Farms’ website, organicaronia.com.

RELATED: 8 Key Tips To Growing Aronia Berries

This article originally published in THE NEW PIONEER® Spring 2015 issue. Print and Digital Subscriptions to THE NEW PIONEER magazine are available here.