Aronia berries, also known as black chokeberries, have been gaining popularity among health-conscious consumers looking to add more superfoods to their diets.The small dark berries of the Aronia melanocarpa plant are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin C and anthocyanins, and offer wonderful health benefits for those who want to improve their health through better nutrition. In some countries, dried aronia berries are used to make antioxidant-rich herbal tea.

THE ARONIA BERRY – AN ANTIOXIDANT SUPERSTAR

The superfood status Aronia melanocarpa has earned is largely attributable to its very strong antioxidant properties. In fact, aronia berries have the highest antioxidant capacity among berries and other fruits evaluated to date. These antioxidant properties, in turn, can be attributed to the phenolic compounds present in aronia berries, although the high levels of vitamin C found in these super-berries may also play a role. A Polish chokeberry study published in the journal European Food Research and Technology in 2005 found that polymeric proanthocyanins and anthocyanins are the dominating phenolic compound groups in aronia berries and aronia juice. Antioxidants are believed to protect against many degenerative diseases and to slow down aging in general. They are also a crucial component of anti-wrinkle diets as they can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of environmental pollutants, tobacco smoke, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, and other factors that cause your body to produce free radicals.

A GUT HEALTH PROMOTING SUPERFOOD FULL OF FIBRE

Aronia berries are packed with fibre, with a 100-gram serving (3.5 ounces) providing 16.9 grams of this essential macro-nutrient. Unlike the other macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), fibre isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your digestive tract, which is why it is associated with a number of unique health benefits. Some of these benefits include healthy bowel movements and overall improved bowel health, lower cholesterol levels, weight loss (when combined with exercise and an overall healthy weight loss diet), and reduced risk of problems related to blood sugar levels.

PROTECT AGAINST WINTER CHILL

Are you prone to catching colds and the flu? Amping up your cold and flu prevention diet with a spoonful of dried aronia berries or juice might be just what you need. Aronia berries have traditionally been used by Potawatomi indians to cure colds, and recent research confirms the anti-viral properties and high vitamin C content of this extraordinary superfood. A group of Bulgarian scientists found Aronia melanocarpa to have in-vitro anti-viral activity against type A influenza virus as well as bacteriostatic activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

References
1. Jan Oszmianski, Aneta Wojdylo. Aronia melanocarpa phenolics and their antioxidant activity. European Food Research and Technology, November 2005, Volume 221, Issue 6, pp 809-813.
2. Kokotkiewicz A, Jaremicz Z, Luczkiewicz M. Aronia plants: a review of traditional use, biological activities, and perspectives for modern medicine. J Med Food. 2010; 13: 255-269.
4. Kulling SE, Rawel HM. Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) – A review on the characteristic components and potential health effects. Planta Med. 2008; 74: 1625-1634.
5. Valcheva-Kuzmanova SV, Belcheva A. Current knowledge of Aronia melanocarpa as a medicinal plant. Folia Med (Plovdiv) 2006; 48:11-17.
6. Chrubasik C, Li G, Chrubasik S. The clinical effectiveness of chokeberry: a systematic review. Phytother Res. 2010; 24:1107-1114.
7. Xianli Wu, Liwei Gu, Ronald L. Prior, and Steve McKay. Characterization of Anthocyanins and Proanthocyanidins in Some Cultivars of Ribes, Aronia, and Sambucus and Their Antioxidant Capacity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2004, 52 (26), pp 7846-7856.
8. Cuiwei Zhao, M. Monica Giusti, Minnie Malik, Mary P. Moyer, and Bernadene A. Magnuson. Effects of Commercial Anthocyanin-Rich Extracts on Colonic Cancer and Nontumorigenic Colonic Cell Growth. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2004, 52 (20), pp 6122-6128 Source: http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/aronia-berries-buy-organic.php#ixzz3YrewmXRp
FURTHER READING:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/07/aronia-north-american-super-berry-with-cancer-fighting-benefits/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/chokeberry.html

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrition-chokeberries-1161.html

http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/aronia-berries-buy-organic.php