Aronia belongs to the family of spathaceous trees, the arnica, in the genus Diplodia. A true arnica is a deciduous tree, with needle-like leaves that grow in long, upright tendrils. The name Aronia comes from the Greek word meaning “ash tree”. The chokeberries are native to the eastern part of North America, the best known group of which is Aronia officinalis.
The Aronia berry is an important source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential in order for the body to produce antibodies, important for fighting disease. In addition, the immune system depends on vitamin C for building strong cellular walls and fighting off infections. The berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which are essential to regulate blood pressure levels, improve circulation, enhance energy, and help keep the heart healthy. The health benefits of eating the berries as a source of vitamin C can be even more beneficial when they are combined with other antioxidant rich foods such as goji berries, oranges, strawberries and plums.
Fresh Aronia berries and juices can also be used in a variety of dishes, both simple and complex. The juices are delicious and refreshing, and there is nothing quite like the tangy taste of fresh aronia berries mixed with fresh fruits or blended into a delicious drink. Syrups of fresh aronia berries and juices can be enjoyed in smoothies, on salads, added to yogurt, or even added to tea. Syrups in smoothies, especially when flavored with fresh lemon or lime juice, are a good alternative to the traditional drink of coffee or tea. Juices can be consumed on their own, with fresh fruit, or as an ingredient in various dishes. There are many delicious recipes that call for the use of these juices.
Although the berries are non-indigestible, the seeds are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Based on the variety of Aronia berries grown, the average amount of nutritious material contained in one ounce of the berry is approximately thirty calories. When the juice or berry is extracted, the nutritional content is further reduced due to the water vaporization during the extraction process. However, it is believed that the beneficial properties of this bioflavonoid are retained, since the small amount of water retained during the process does not change the bioavailability of this vital vitamin.
The benefits of using aronia berries and their extract can extend beyond their healing and nutritional properties. In addition to being a valuable source of vitamin C, essential trace minerals such as niacin, iron, and zinc, as well as beta carotene, are available in many foods, including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. By consuming foods that contain vitamin C, many foods with unpleasant odors can be avoided, such as garlic and onions. Additionally, studies have shown that by taking a few fresh, unprocessed berries each day, cancer patients were able to reduce the number of malignant cells found in their body. Further studies are currently being conducted in hopes of learning if drinking the juice will also have the same effect.
Due to the excellent source of vitamin C, this bioflavonoid has been proven to be an effective pain reliever. Studies have shown that the juice or berry can relieve migraines, tension headaches, neck pain, sinus problems, and backaches, although it is important to note that individuals with cardiac issues, blood pressure, and other serious health conditions should consult with their doctor before consuming any type of Aronia berries or extract. For most individuals, two grams of the berry per day is the recommended daily dosage. For those with liver or kidney disease or for those who are pregnant, it is advised that you speak with a physician prior to consuming any of the Aronia berries or extract.