Aronia is a common genus of flowering shrubs, with the most common subspecies being Dioscorea sp. It is an evergreen shrub found from southern Canada to northern Mexico and south to the north-eastern United States. Aronia has a double leaflet; the upper having five leaflets while the lower four are paired. It has a single trunk that starts out straight with two arching nodes on its central column and has white-colored bands along its trunk. Flowers, called petals, are broadly oval in shape and appear as rounded stamens, with the center part of the flower being shiny. It has pale blue-green leaves and a taproot with large white blooms.
An abundance of amino acids in aronia berries stimulates the immune system, increases blood flow and helps fight infections. Aronia is a valuable source of minerals and vitamins, particularly calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. The fruits are considered very beneficial for the circulatory system. It is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid, and other minerals. It also contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and herbal substances. Some of the best known fruits to use as a tea include: Aronia juice, Lemon Balm and Papaya juice, Grapefruit juice, Pomegranate juice, Papaya juice, Blueberry juice and Raspberry juice.
In addition to its health benefits, studies have shown that aronia berries have strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help rid the body of harmful free radicals that build up due to excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco and certain medications. Clinical research suggests that excessive intake of antioxidants may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke. For this reason, many people have been drinking this healthful beverage on a regular basis to boost their antioxidant intake.
One of the most interesting antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, anthocyanins are a group of pigments found in grape skins, apples and oranges. However, these antioxidants have not been well studied in humans. Until recently, it was believed that anthocyanins are the cause of the bad breath in human mouths, which may lead to further research on the role of antioxidants in oral health.
According to some studies, anthocyanins from Aronia can protect the human body from the effects of free radicals. Another interesting health benefits of this super fruit has been studied using laboratory animals. In the lab, rats were fed with varying amounts of anthocyanins and monitored for signs of disease. The results indicated that the animals that were fed with larger amounts of anthocyanins were protected from the development of cardiovascular disease, while the control animals were affected by oxidative stress. Anthocyanins appeared to arrest the oxidation process in the fat cells of the test-tube studies and blocked the formation of cholesterol.
So, the next time you hear someone say “mock” or “fake,” maybe you should take a moment to consider adding a few berries to your diet. As delicious and nutritious as blueberries are, they might not be the answer you’re looking for in a superfood. If you’re willing to try a bit of an unusual flavor, chokeberries might be just what you’re looking for. Although a little hard to find, these berries do make a delicious, healthy dessert. Try a little of this juice with your morning cereal.