Chokeberry is one of the foods that make a real difference. If you are not already consuming them, fresh or otherwise, you should. And here is why.
Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is one of the plants with really high nutritional power. Often called aroniaberry, this plant has already shown great healing potential for various health conditions. For example, it effectively cleanses the human body from harmful substances and heavy metals.
Aronia looks like a blueberry, with berries that are tiny, small, and dark-blue, growing in clusters. The plant itself grows in a form of bush, reaching up to two meters. The berries have astringent taste after ripening.
Chokeberry is a real treasure when it comes to biologically active compounds. It contains over 300 chemical compounds with medicinal capacity, including many essential nutrients: vitamins C, A, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9, as well as zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus and iodine.
Chokeberries can be consumed fresh or you can use them to make a healthful smoothie, juice or tea. Throughout the year, they can be used frozen, dry, or boiled, as jam, syrup, wine, liqueur, and brandy.
What we recommend, however, is using these berries either whole or as a cold-pressed juice. Just prepare your freshly squeezed juice and drink it once a day on an empty stomach.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Chokeberry
- 2 Health Benefits of Chokeberry
- 3 Anti-cancer Properties
- 4 Antioxidant Properties
- 5 Fighting Chronic Diseases
- 6 Protection of the Pancreas
- 7 Chokeberry Nutrition Chart
- 8 Cold Pressed Homemade Aronia Berry Juice
- 9 Boiled Homemade Chokeberry Juice
- 10 Superberries: The Best Aroniaberry Juice Brand
- 11 Conclusion
- 12 Related Posts
Types of Chokeberry
There are three types of chokeberry:
- black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa),
- red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia),
- and purple chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia)
As chokeberry has little or no natural predators or parasites, the plant is not sprayed heavily. You may rightfully call them organically-grown berries, even if they are not declared as such.
There is also a Siberian Chokeberry (a variety of Aronia melanocarpa), adapted to growing in the grip of a cold climate. It can tolerate winter and cold, with temperatures down to -50 degrees.
These extremely low temperatures don’t seem to harm this plant, quite the opposite: it seems to contain more beneficial substances. It has a very high polyphenol content, along with vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. The Siberian Chokeberry could be considered a variety of highest quality.
Health Benefits of Chokeberry
Studies have shown that chokeberries have anti-cancer properties, helping “kill” a large percentage of malignant cells. This has been confirmed in a study by King’s College Hospital and the University of Southampton. The researchers combined chokeberries with a chemotherapy drug for treating cancer. The study found that these berries improve the efficiency of the drug, helping kill cancer cells more quickly.
Being an exceptional antioxidant, aroniaberry prevents the formation of free radicals, keeping the healthy cells in the body safe, while also slowing down the aging processes. In fact, the antioxidant capacity of chokeberry and chokeberry juice is much higher than, for example, blueberry juice (already a strong antioxidant), or other berries for that matter.
Moreover, chokeberry is among the strongest anti-oxidant fruits know to us presently.
A hundred grams of ripe chokeberries measure around 16,100 in ORAC units. The polyphenolic content in the chokeberries shows the highest in vitro antioxidant action among all the fruits.
Fighting Chronic Diseases
Chokeberry juice may also help prevent the development of chronic diseases. In the juice we can find a huge amount of tannins and flavonoids, with the main role reserved for a compound called anthocyanin. Half a cup of fresh aronia fruit has around 1,500 mg of anthocyanin.
Numerous research studies have revealed that the dark berries of this wondrous plant improve blood circulation, lower the LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and by virtue of doing that protects the cardiovascular system.
Aronia berry relieves migraines and headaches. It effectively lowers high blood pressure and has a beneficial effect on the stomach and intestinal mucus. The berries of this plant help the entire immune system to reduce inflammation.
Like the cranberries and cranberry juice, they prevent the development of viral and bacterial infections of the urinary tract, and promote better functioning of the liver.
The ripe fruits and juice contain large amounts of beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are important as they improve the health of the eyes and keep the skin safe from the dangerous sun radiation (prevent the occurrence of melanoma).
Chokeberry juice can improve the function of the thyroid gland, it promotes wound healing, and slows down the skin aging by preventing wrinkles and stretch marks.
Protection of the Pancreas
Aronia berry has a beneficial effect on the pancreas function and blood sugar levels. It may be useful in treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It can certainly be recommended to people with high blood sugar. (The other reason is the low glycemic index, as well as glycemic load.)
Researchers have linked the anthocyanin extract from the chokeberries with protective action on the Pancreatic β-Cells.
They have shown that the anthocyanins have increased biological activity and antioxidant potential.
Chokeberry Nutrition Chart
Cold Pressed Homemade Aronia Berry Juice
You can make your own juice, or you can buy it in a health store (the first option is better, but the second also works, see below). Usually, you would take small doses of it every day, so the price won’t matter much.
To make the juice you would need some ripe chokeberries, either fresh or frozen. Freezing them makes virtually no difference on the quality of the berries, as they handle low temperatures really well.
2 pounds of ripe berries will give you around 3 cups of juice, or less, depending on the condition of the berries.
The best way to prepare the juice is to use a chopper or food processor and sieve it afterward to get a pure cold pressed juice.
Restrain from adding sugar, and drink it as it is. If you need to dilute it, use pure clean water. Drink it as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours.
Boiled Homemade Chokeberry Juice
The following recipe suggests using heat to prepare chokeberry juice. It is not our preferred version, as high temperature kills some of the nutrient content.
- Start by washing your chokecherries and removing the stems.
- Put the chokecherries in a large kettle and add water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool.
- Filter out the juice and collect the pure liquid in a large bowl.
- Throw away the remaining pits and pulp.
- One pound of chokeberry yields about 1 cup of juice.
Because of the fact that aronia berries are not very tasteful when eating as such, the majority of the produce is being processed into bottled juice. As you won’t be consuming too much of it, the price should not be an issue here.
Our first choice is
Superberries: The Best Aroniaberry Juice Brand
This juice is a concentrated version of raw organic chokeberry juice. The manufacturer (Superberries) suggests mixing the aronia berry concentrate with water to produce a pleasant beverage (a juice or tea) of your choice.
Made from the black variety of chokeberry, the juice has a delightful purple color.
As if comes in the form of concentrate, it is very convenient for most people. Although it might take some time getting used to the bitter taste, be aware that the antioxidant nature of the juice is in the bitterness. If you have to, mix it with other juices, yogurt, or tea.
Keep it in the fridge when not using it. If you take a tablespoon a day, the entire bottle will last you more than a month.
You can purchase this juice online at Amazon.com. At the time of writing this post, they have a free shipping offer this juice. You can buy this product at the Amazon.com web site here: Organic Aroniaberry (Chokeberry) Juice Concentrate (6) 16 Fl. Oz.
As an additional resource, you might want to check is the Amazon customer reviews page.
People who use aronia berry on a regular basis usually have very positive experiences. They tend to feel better, their energy levels and immunity increase and have fewer colds than earlier.
However, it is worth keeping in mind that chokeberry is not a medicine, it is a type of food and the possible health benefits have not been evaluated by the FDA. Consult with your physician or a licensed health care professional prior to using this juice in treating health problems.