In recent years, nutritionists and fruit lovers around the world have become aware of the benefits of aronia. This berry is the fruit of a deciduous shrub that is found mostly in North America.
There are two varieties of aronia, namely black and red aronia. Red aronia has a sweeter taste, black aronia is slightly bitter, but both varieties contain high amounts of antioxidants that are beneficial to health. Here are some of the advantages of this small berry.
Reduce oxidative stress
Aronia contains a mixture of anthocyanins, condensed tannins and phenolic acid, making it one of the richest sources of antioxidants, which can prevent free radicals from damaging cell components and causing oxidative stress. As such, aronia can be used to treat various health problems that are related to oxidative stress, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, arthritis and certain neurological diseases.
Combat the metabolic syndrome
According to a study conducted in 2010, the consumption of aronia can be effective in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a disease that can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation and excess body fat. In this study, 25 people with metabolic syndrome consumed 100mg of aronia extract three times daily for two months. The researchers noted that the subjects’ blood pressure and LDL cholesterol decreased significantly at the end of the study.
Helping diabetic patients
There is also a possibility that aronia may reduce blood glucose levels, and therefore it may be beneficial to diabetic patients. In a study that was published in 2002, a number of patients with diabetes were given 200ml of sugar-free aronia juice every day for three months. The results showed that patients experienced a decrease in blood glucose levels.
Help maintain a healthy body weight
If you have decided to lose weight, aronia is an excellent food choice for you. It contains low amounts of calories and fat, and has a balancing effect on your body. It also has the ability to prevent the body from storing too much fat, especially in the stomach.
Protect the eyes
Aronia also contains large amounts of antioxidant flavonoids, such as luteins, zeaxantins and carotenes. It is known that zeaxanthin has the ability to filter harmful ultraviolet rays, and can therefore protect the eyes against macular degeneration, which usually occurs in the elderly.
Despite the fact that many studies have been conducted on aronia, there is not enough scientific support to confirm the specific health benefits of this fruit. If you wish to use aronia to treat a particular disease, it is advisable to obtain your doctor’s approval beforehand.