Chokeberry, also known as aronia (Aronia melanocarpa), is a superfood that has become popular in recent years.
In fact, chokeberry is one of the few "superfoods" that’s native to North America.
As a superfood, aronia berries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the world.
This post covers everything you need to know about chokeberries, including their nutritional value and health benefits.
Chokeberry Nutritional Profile:
Chokeberry is an extremely nutrient-rich fruit. Research shows that 1 ounce of fresh berries provides the following nutrients.
- Calories: 13
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fat: 0 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 10% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
Benefits of Chokeberry:
Chokeberry has a variety of health benefits. Below are the top research-backed health benefits of this fruit.
1. Immune Health
Research shows that chokeberry may help to strengthen and support the immune system.
In a test tube study, aronia berry extracts were found to have strong antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Bacillus Cereus, two potentially harmful bacteria. It achieved this by inhibiting the bacteria’s biofilm growth.
A 3-month study of residents from six nursing homes revealed that those who consumed chokeberry juice daily had a 38-55% lower incidence of urinary tract infections.
Aronia berries may also help to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, which can enhance immune function.
Finally, chokeberry may have antiviral properties. In an animal study, it was discovered that chokeberry’s ellagic acid and myricetin content protected against the influenza virus.
When combined with other natural supplements, like shiitake mushrooms, chokeberry can go a long way toward building a strong immune system.
2. Heart Health
Aronia berries have antioxidant effects that may help to promote heart health.
Antioxidants may be able to help those with overall metabolic health.
In a 2-month study of 38 individuals with metabolic syndrome, chokeberry supplementation at 300mg per day reduced triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol significantly.
Taking 300mg of chokeberry extract per day for 2 months in people with metabolic syndrome reduced the same health indicators as metformin, according to a similar 2-month long study.
While these initial findings are promising, additional, human clinical trials are required to determine the part that chokeberry plays in heart health.
3. Antioxidant Rich
Aronia berries are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits in the world.
Antioxidants are important for health because they protect your cells from harm caused by free radicals.
Aronia berries are also a great source of polyphenols, which are a special group of antioxidants that includes phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavanols.
Lab studies show that the antioxidants found within chokeberry can inhibit free radical activity.
A human clinical trial involving 30 healthy people found that chokeberry extract reduced oxidative stress caused by antipsychotic medication. The researchers noted that results were shown within 24 hours of taking the chokeberry extract.
4. Blood Pressure Support
Initial research shows that aronia berry might be able to help lower blood pressure.
High blood pressure is caused by the narrowing of our arteries, which causes blood to flow through our bodies under greater pressure than it should. This can lead to a variety of health complications.
An animal study found that aronia berry has a biostatistically significant effect on blood pressure.
Another study found that aronia extract helped to relax muscles within the arteriel walls, which helped to reduce blood pressure.
Human clinical trials are needed to verify these claims, but these initial findings are promising.
5. Liver Health
Various studies have shown that chokeberry may be helpful for liver health.
In an animal study involving mice with liver damage, aronia fruit juice was found to have a helpful effect. The researchers discovered that aronia reduced the severity and signs of liver damage.
In a similar 2017 animal study, aronia juice was found to have protective effects against liver damage. The antioxidant activity of the aronia fruit is said to be responsible for the effect.
While these animal studies are promising, human clinical trials are needed to verify these claims.
How To Add Chokeberry To Your Diet:
Based on the various benefits listed above, it appears that adding chokeberry to your diet is a no-brainer.
So what is the best way to add this fruit to your life?
The best way is by buying fresh, or dried, chokeberries and adding them to your morning smoothie, or as a snack.
However, it can be hard to find chokeberries in local food stores. It's more a niche item - often times it's not stocked.
Instead, it's better to take a daily supplement.
At Earth Fed Muscle, we include chokeberry in our Greens Party formula. This formula is made up of 20+ different fruits and vegetables and it's designed to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Provide antioxidants
- Improve digestive health
Greens Party includes chokeberry, along with pomegranate, broccoli, blueberry, acai, turmeric, and countless other fruits and vegetables and works to fill in your micronutrient gaps.
Research shows that chokeberry provides a variety of health benefits, especially for immune health.
It also appears that this berry has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s worth looking into chokeberry if you are needing support in any of these areas.
Here at Earth Fed Muscle, we include chokeberry in our Greens Party daily greens drink formula. This daily booster is designed to provide your body with the nutrients that it needs on a daily basis.
As always, make sure to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or adding a new supplement.
Have you tried chokeberry before? What's your favorite way to include this berry into your diet?
Daniel has a master's degree in herbal science from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He's the founder of The Botanical Institute, where he writes about health and herbs.