Introducing yet another superfruit: the chokeberry

 
By Carrie Johnson • Published: July 5th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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It seems like every week there’s a new fruit that we must introduce to our diet. One week, it’s blueberries. Then it’s the acai berry or the mangosteen. So what is the latest craze to sweep the produce section? The chokeberry.

The chokeberry, or the aronia berry as it is sometimes called, is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. It is also loaded with anthocyanins (antho-sigh-ANN-ins), the versatile and plentiful flavonoid pigments found in red or purplish fruits and vegetables, including purple cabbage, beets and blueberries. Anthocyanins are believed to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, certain anthocyanins… including those found in the chokeberry… have also been shown to improve blood sugar and the function of insulin.

However, some marketers are going further and pushing chokeberries as a means of fighting aging and warding off disease. So are these little purple berries really super fruits or is this just another case of super marketing? Scientists are encouraging consumers to stick to the facts and not endow these fruits with magical properties. Chokeberries and other fruits that are high in antioxidents do have many beneficial qualities. But there is no scientific evidence to support claims that taking chokeberry extract will help improve a person’s brain function or shrink belly fat, as some marketers claim.

Is there any question that chokeberries are good for you? No. Is there any proof they will make you thinner and younger? No. But that’s no reason not to give them a try. These colorful berries are low in fat and calories and can be used in a fruit salad or sprinkled on yogurt. And, like all fruits, they’re a lot better for you than a cookie.