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Aronia melanocarpa: a powerful antioxydant

Aronia berries are the second most important food in the world in terms of antioxidant properties. But its beneficial properties do not end there.

 

 

Aronia : a further introduction

The plant of the Aronia Melanocarpa, or Black Arony, is native to North America, but is also much present in the regions of Eastern Europe, up to Russia.

It is formed by a very thick bush and reaches a height of two meters, in fact it is used for ornamental purposes, as well as for its nutritional value and its beneficial properties.

 

 

It has leaves of a bright green colour which during the autumn fade on the red and the orange, and judging from where it is diffused, it does not suffer neither the cold nor the heat.

The precious fruits of the Aronia Melanocarpa come out during the summer, after the spring flowering: they are small and thick berries very similar to blueberries, which contain many seeds inside. The berries ripen in autumn and can be eaten fresh or in juice, or used as a edible garnish for cakes, ice cream or drinks.

The cultivation of this plant for the harvesting of the fruit usually takes place on very large and unprotected soils, because the Aronia is a very productive plant and almost not subject to attack by pests and external aggressors. For this reason, and above all for its numerous beneficial properties, for centuries Aronia was considered by the Eastern peoples as a real medicine box.

 

 

What do the berries look like?

Aronia Melanocarpa berries resemble the Giant American blueberry in shape, colour and flavour, and are famous worldwide for their beneficial properties. They are rich in vitamin C, the virtues of which we know, vitamin K useful for bones and blood clotting, and mineral salts. They are a panacea for heart health and for reducing blood sugar levels.

 

 

The property for which the Aronia Melanocarpa berry is known and appreciated by everyone, however, is the antioxidant: The substances contained in its juice, anthocyanins, epyphenols and flavonoids, are our best tools in the battle against free radicals, or those molecules present in our body for are the cause of aging, degenerative diseases, tumors, weakening of the immune system and seasonal disorders.

The US Department of Agriculture, which has created the famous ORAC table that classifies food according to its antioxidant properties, awards the Aronia berries a silver medal.

Let’s see in particular what are the fantastic beneficial properties of Aronia Melanocarpa and what substances contain its precious purple berries:

Antioxidants: Black Aronia berries are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins (these give the fruit its characteristic intense purple colour). It is no coincidence that they are one of the foods most used by the American anti-ageing industry.

Vitamin C: we consider that 300 grams of berries would be able to satisfy the entire daily need for this precious vitamin that strengthens the immune system and bones, keeps young and healthy, and strengthens tissues.

Vitamin K: The fruits of Black Arony are rich in this vitamin that helps blood clotting and therefore prevents artery obstruction and atherosclerosis by lowering the cholesterol level.

Iron: one of the few substances that our organism is not able to produce autonomously. That is why it is important to take it through healthy eating. Iron is also important for the oxygenation of the cells of our body, and is contained in large quantities in the berries of Aronia. We think that 100 grams of berries roughly cover our daily iron needs.

Chinic Acid: contained in large amounts in Aronia berries, this substance helps purify the urinary tract, thus preventing unpleasant and painful infections.

Fibres: the substances contained in Aronia juice are one of the best natural tools for colon cleansing, therefore in the prevention of colon cancer, as well as a good natural laxative to overcome constipation and hemorrhoids.

 

 

How are they used in the kitchen?

We can eat Black Aronia berries naturally, or in juice. In fact, they are generally processed to sweeten their taste: raw are a bit acid and not everyone appreciates them, while after the cooking process the taste becomes rather sweet and lends itself to a greater variety of gastronomic uses.

With Aronia berries, in addition to fruit juices, you can make excellent jams and sauces, or use them in ice cream, fruit salads, smoothies, herbal teas or other types of drinks.

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