Plant Magazine of Botanical-online September 2017

Natural remedies

Black chokeberry

(Aronia melanocarpa)

What is aronia?

Chokeberry or aronia is a plant from the Rosaceae family, native to eastern North American continent. This shrub is characterized by the intense green color of its leaves, which are stained with beautiful reddish-yellow in autumn.

The importance of aronia is due to its use in the ornamentation of gardens and especially to its cultivation for the production of fruits.

The fruit of aronia is a small glossy black-purple round berry,.

Chokeberry has a great scientific interest because of its high content of antioxidants, higher than blueberries and more than other berries.

- More information about the composition of Aronia

Aronia as food

Aronia fruit is known for its phytonutrient content, giving it antioxidant and other medicinal properties. Although it has not proven its importance until recent studies, aronia berry is the fruit with the highest antioxidant potential. This valuable fruit also gives us:

  • Tannins, the major component which this fruit brings us among all the polyphenols. Tannins are compounds with antioxidant, astringent and antibacterial action. They also inhibit the absorption of cholesterol and they are responsible for the characteristic bitter taste of the fruit.

  • Anthocyanins: specifically, aronia contains the amount of 1.5 g per 100 g of fruit anthocyanins. This makes aronia juice an ideal antioxidant to prevent aging, to improve skin appearance or help fight colds. These substances are also contributing to the purple color of this fruit.

  • Flavonols such as rutin (quercetin 3 rutinoside). Rutin is a substance proven antiinflammatory, antibacterial and hepatoprotective.

Aronia is also very low in calories, so it provides few fats, sugars and proteins. In short, the most prominent components of this fruit are antioxidants.

aronia
In the image: bar of dates with almonds, sour cherries (15%) and aronia concentrate juice(9%) by brand Lubs.

How to eat aronia or chokeberry

  • Fresh Fruit: this fruit can be eaten fresh, although aronia marketing in most continents is not yet widespread. This is because the properties of this fruit have been known for a relatively short time, and it is only consumed fresh in the eastern United States, parts of Canada, parts of Russia and Eastern Europe mainly. It is preferable to transform this fruit into juice or jam, in order for it to acquire a better taste. Do not forget that tannins are very astringent and bitter substances, qualities that disappear when cooking this fruit.

  • Jams: due to the pectin content, it is possible to make delicious jams with this fruit.

  • Aronia juice: It is the most widespread form of this fruit and the best way to consume it. It is usually prepared in combination with other antioxidants such as acai berries, blueberries and raspberries. Some juices are made with 100 % aronia, and have better flavor than the fresh berries, because these are a little bitter. More information: properties of aronia juice in the listing above.

  • Bars, breakfast cereals, yogurt, ice cream:. Aronia juice or aronia concentrate may be present among the ingredients of these products, enriching anthocyanin.

  • Aronia tea: Aronia is an ingredient for antioxidant teas indicated for stress. Furthermore, the content of anthocyanins stain water infusion dark, indicating the presence of these substances.

  • Capsules: As with aronia juice, there are powdered berries capsules combining several high aronia content

  • Aronia wine: Wine and spirits are also produced from aronia.

  • Aronia vinegar (see photo on the right column)

Aronia vinegar
In the picture: Aronia vinegar by Gengenbauer house as sold on the market in Vienna Naschmarkt
  • Food additive. Aronia extract (anthocyanins) is used as E-163 coloring additive. By adding aronia juice concentrate, you can provide a deep purple to the food to which you add it.

Who is recommended to take Aronia?

  • The whole population in general: New lifestyles of today's society behave very oxidants, such as stress, smoking, sport, etc. organic situations.; and paradoxically, currently we are consuming less antioxidants than in antiquity, mainly from vegetables and fruits. Therefore, aronia juice taken daily or at least once a week, becomes a very important antioxidant supplement, being one of the foods with the highest content of polyphenols that help to increase immunity organism, as recent scientific studies have determined . Aronia can be taken in juice (Take 50ml of aronia juice diluted in 100ml of water at breakfast or snack; eat it with yogurt.

  • Sportsmen. Because of its high antioxidant power, it is ideal for athletes who need vitamins and hydration with little calories. A glass of aronia juice diluted in water after training or competition is recommended. (50 ml of aronia juice diluted in 100ml of water. Or a stick of aronia before competition)

  • Stress. Nothing is more oxidizing than a continuous mental or physical stress. For example, a very demanding work, competitions, or situations in our environment that generate nervousness. Taking aronia juice weekly as an antioxidant supplement is an aid to the body as well as a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins (fruit, vegetables, cereals, legumes). It is important to manage stressful situations or to solve them.

  • Smoking. People with smoking habits should know that the tobacco is highly oxidative and adds more cholesterol in the arteries (as smoke degrades or oxidizes body fat). So a smoker should provide greater daily amounts of antioxidants in their diet than a nonsmoker, introducing more vitamin C, carotenoids or, in this case, adding anthocyanins, by means of taking aronia juice .

  • Obesity. People who are obese or overweight must follow a diet low in calories and rich in antioxidants to prevent or treat cardiovascular diseases. Aronia juice is also highly satisfying for slimming diets. (Take 50 70ml of aronia juice diluted in 100ml of water at breakfast and snack for 3 weeks)

  • Diabetes. Its content in rutin, important for vision, high antioxidant levels and low sugar content makes it very important for cardiovascular health and an ideal fruit for people with Diabetes , specially beneficial for people with Type II diabetes for their hypoglycemic properties. (Take 50 70ml aronia juice diluted in 100ml of water with a approx contribution of 10g of carbohydrates at breakfast and snack for 3 weeks.

  • Cardiovascular disease. Because of its high antioxidant content, aronia juice or capsules may help improve cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. (Take 50 70ml aronia juice diluted in 100ml of water at breakfast and snack for 3 weeks)

  • Prevention of urinary diseases . Aronia, like blueberry, has antibacterial properties to prevent urinary tract infections, such as vaginal infections or cystitis (Take 50 70ml aronia juice 12 times a day, for example, for breakfast and snack. You can also take capsules. It is essential to follow a proper hygiene and nutrition guidelines for these cases)

  • Improve vision. People with night blindness or eye problems can benefit from the high content of antioxidants, anthocyanins and rutin of aronia juice. For people who need all the important nutrients for eye health. A diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids (especially DHA acid) present in vegetable oils; rich in vegetables and fruits because of their carotene content and foods rich in anthocyanins, such as as aronia juice, blueberries, black currants, grapes, cherries, raspberries, cauliflower, chicory, etc.. (We recommend taking 50 70ml of aronia juice diluted in 100 ml of water at least once a day, and eat a diet rich in antioxidants, always plenty of anthocyanins.

The concentration of aronia juice may vary by brand name. It is recommended to take 50ml of pure aronia juice diluted in water, and not exceed this dose. In case of drinking a fruit juice with aronia. one can increase the amount of dilution.

Who should avoid taking Aronia?

  • Pregnant women should avoid eating aronia during pregnancy until aronia safety is proven in these cases, as there is not enough scientific literature.

  • People with autoimmune diseases should first consult with a physician. Although aronia has proven beneficial for some diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, increasing immunity may negatively impact on such diseases. Consultation l and specialist supervision is essential in these cases.

Where to buy Aronia

- Dietary and organic stores. Aronia is a little known food in some countries and it is often only sold in specialty stores. It is usually marketed as aronia juice, and sometimes we can order it.

- Shopping on line. Internet ends up being the most practical choice to buy unconventional products.

Preserving Aronia

Fresh aronia is a delicate food. It has to be kept refrigerated until consumption far from sunlight to prevent rusting. It is recommended not store together with other fruits to avoid contamination between them.

Aronia juice should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Once opened, kept in the refrigerator for 10 days.

.red dot More information on aronia in the listing above

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

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