Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chokeberry


 Scientific name: Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry), Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

Other names: Aronia, bitter-berry, or Virginia bird cherry

Description:


Chokeberry also known as Aronia, Bitter-berry, or Virginia bird cherry is a shrub or small tree that grows to about 5m tall and is native to North America. The leaves are oval with serrated margin while the flowers are white with 5 small petals.  The fruit is about 1 cm in diameter and ranges in color from bright red to black.

There are at least 2 species of chokeberries that are cultivated widely - black and red.  Black chokeberry
is sour sometimes bitter and is used to make jam or wine while the red chokeberry is sweet and less
astringent.

Parts used: Berries, leaves

Nutritional Information and Properties of Chokeberry:

Chokeberries among the healthiest berries because of its nutritional value.

It has a high concentration of polyphenols, flavonoid, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidin oxidants. These
antioxidants have proven health benefits by scavenging dangerous oxygen-free radicals.

Among the berries, chokeberry has one of the highest values yet recorded when it comes to the "oxygen
radical absorbency capacity" or ORAC (measurement of antioxidant strength of food items). This is effective
in preventing oxidative stress which is the root cause of most diseases. They are also rich in Vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, carotenes, luteins and zeaxanthins. Zea-xanthin protects eyes from age-related macular disease. Chokeberries also have minerals like folate, potassium, iron and manganese.

Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Chokeberry:


Scientific studies have shown that consumption of chokeberries on a regular basis have potential health
benefits against cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, inflammation, neurological diseases and
bacterial infections.

Cardiovascular Diseases/Heart attack/Stroke: Chokeberry is rich in antioxidants and flavonoid which are
good to keep a healthy heart. It reduces the bad cholesterol and improves blood flow. It also reduces the
blood pressure.

Diabetes: Chokeberry controls the blood sugar level and prevents it from spiking. It also prevents diabetes
related complication.

Ageing: because Chokeberry is a rich source of antioxidants and other nutrients it thus help to slow down
the ageing process.

Cancer: Chokeberry has high Oxygen Radiance Absorption Capacity (ORAC) and is rich in antioxidants.  Thus, this berry is good at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and  destroys free radicals in our body. 

Age-related Macular Degeneration: Chokeberry is rich in antioxidants and phyto-nutrients which nourishes the eye and protect them.


Weight Loss: Chokeberry is known to burn fat and prevents the body from storing fat in the abdomen.



Precautions:

Just like in any part of this blog, it is still best to consult your physician before taking medicinal
plants/herbs or any medications.