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Everything You Need to Know About Aronia Berries
By Sharon O'Brien
Aronia berries (Aronia melanocarpa) are small, dark berries that have become popular among health-conscious consumers.
They're considered one of the richest sources of plant antioxidants, which are said to offer many health-promoting properties.
This article reviews all you need to know about aronia berries, including their nutrition, benefits, and downsides.
What Are Aronia Berries?
Aronia berries, or chokeberries, are small, dark fruits that grow on shrubs of the Rosaceae family (1Trusted Source).
They're native to North America but grown in other parts of the world, including across Europe (2Trusted Source).
However, they're also available fresh, frozen, dried, and in powder form.
Aronia berries are small fruits that leave a dry feeling in your mouth. They're added to many foods and beverages but also available as a supplement.
Aronia Berry Nutrition
Aronia berries are low in calories but pack a nutritional punch, as they're high in fiber, vitamin C, and manganese.
Just 1 ounce (28 grams) of aronia berries provides the following nutrients (4):
- Calories: 13
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0 gram
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 10% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
The berries also supply folate, iron, and vitamins A and E.
Plus, they're an excellent source of beneficial antioxidants.
These compounds help protect your cells from potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. The fruits are particularly high in anthocyanins, which give the berries their dark blueto black color (5Trusted Source).
Aronia berries are nutrient dense with minimal calories. They're a great source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants.
Potential health benefits of aronia berries
This may protect your cells from damage and benefit your health in many ways.
Contain Powerful Antioxidants
These compounds defend your cells from damage caused by free radicals. A buildup of free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer (3Trusted Source).
Aronia berries are an excellent source of polyphenols, which is a group of antioxidants that includes phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavanols (3Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
What's more, a study in 30 healthy people found that extracts from aronia berries significantly reduced oxidative stress caused by an antipsychotic medication within 24 hours (12Trusted Source).
Moreover, test-tube studies have linked the antioxidants in these fruits to other impressive health benefits, such as decreased inflammation, as well as reduced bacterial and cancer cell growth (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
May Have Anticancer Effects
One test-tube study found that 50 mg of aronia extract reduced colon cancer cell growth by 60% after 24 hours. It's thought that the potent antioxidant activity of anthocyanins is responsible for this cancer-suppressing effect (15Trusted Source).
Similarly, extracts from the berries may reduce oxidative stress related to breast cancer.
That said, current research is limited, and human studies are needed to evaluate the relationship between aronia berries and cancer protection.
May Benefit Heart Health
In particular, they may help people with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions — including high cholesterol and triglyceride levels — that increases your likelihood of heart disease and diabetes (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
One 2-month study in 38 people with metabolic syndrome observed that supplementing with 300 mg of aronia extract daily significantly decreased triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol (22Trusted Source).
A similar 2-month study in 25 people with metabolic syndrome found that taking 300 mg of aronia extract daily significantly reduced the same health markers, as well as blood pressure (23Trusted Source).
More human research is needed to identify the role that aronia berries may play in heart health.
May Provide Immune Support
Aronia berries may strengthen and support your immune system (13Trusted Source).
A test-tube study noted that aronia berry extracts exhibited strong antibacterial activity against the potentially harmful bacteria Escherichia coli and Bacillus Cereus. It exerted this effect by reducing the bacteria's production of a protective shield called biofilm (14Trusted Source).
In addition, a 3-month study in residents of 6 nursing homes found that those who drank either 5.3 or 3 ounces (156 or 89 ml) of aronia berry juice daily experienced 55% and 38% reductions in urinary tract infections, respectively (24Trusted Source).
Aronia berries may also reduce inflammation by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory substances, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-ɑ) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which may boost immune health (13Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
Finally, the berries may have antiviral effects.
One mouse study determined that the ellagic acid and myricetin in aronia berry extract may protect against the influenza virus (26Trusted Source).
Aronia berries provide antioxidants. These compounds may have cancer-fighting properties and support your heart and immune health.
However, long-term research is needed to verify this.
Keep in mind that aronia berries are very astringent. This can leave a dry, sandpaper-like feel in your mouth. Therefore, you may not want to eat them on their own (3Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source).
Instead, you could add them to foods and drinks, such as yogurt, smoothies, and juices.
Aronia berries are safe to eat with no serious side effects. The only downside is their astringent, mouth-drying effect.
How to Add Them to Your Diet
Though you may not find aronia berries in your local grocery store, they're widely available in health food stores and online.
Here are some ways to add aronia berries to your diet:
- Raw. They can be eaten fresh or dried as a snack, but their mouth-drying effects may not be for everyone.
- Juices and smoothies. Aronia berries or their juice can be combined with other fruits, such as pineapples, apples, or strawberries, to make a refreshing drink.
- Baking. You can easily add them to muffins, cakes, and pies.
- Jams and desserts. Mix aronia berries with sugar to make different jams and tasty treats.
- Tea, coffee, and wine. Aronia berries can be found as an ingredient in teas, wine, and coffee.
The berries can also be taken as a supplement in powdered or capsule form, with serving and dosing recommendations varying by brand.
A typical serving suggestion is to add one teaspoon of aronia berry powder to a juice, yogurt, or smoothie.
The capsules can be made from freeze-dried berries or extract. Therefore, serving recommendations vary considerably.
However, as supplements are not regulated, it's difficult to identify a therapeutic and safe recommended dose.
If you're interested in trying aronia berry supplements, speak with your healthcare provider before purchasing a product.
Aronia berries can easily be added to many foods and drinks. They can also be purchased as a powder or capsule supplement.
The Bottom Line
Aronia berries, or chokeberries, grow on shrubs of the Rosaceae family.
They're rich in fiber, vitamin C, and powerful antioxidants that may have heart-healthy, immune-boosting, and anticancer properties.
You can add fresh aronia berries to many recipes, try them in juices, jams, and syrups, or use them as a supplement.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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By Carey Gillam
Former Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant will have to testify in person at a St. Louis-area trial set for January in litigation brought by a cancer-stricken woman who claims her disease was caused by exposure to the company's Roundup herbicide and that Monsanto covered up the risks instead of warning consumers.
A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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