Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries may come to mind when you think of fruits that pack a serious health punch. But have you ever heard of a chokeberry? You probably haven’t, but once you learn more about its incredible benefits, you’ll want to add it to your rotation ASAP.
What is a chokeberry?
Chokeberries, also sometimes called aronia berries or black apple berries, are a tart and earthy fruit that originally came from North America. Historically used by Indigenous populations to treat colds, research shows that they have a host of other health benefits. This is largely due to the fact that a chokeberry is rich in antioxidants, which stop cell damage over time. More specifically, they’re filled to the brim with tannins, a plant-based compound that can help with everything from weight management and blood sugar levels to cardiovascular well-being and cognitive function.
While scientists are still conducting research into chokeberry’s benefits, an initial review found that it may contain the “most potent” combination of antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress, which causes our cells to deteriorate as we age. These same compounds regulate blood pressure, “bad” cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, lessening the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Chokeberries may also work wonders for weight management. One study discovered that participants who drank a chokeberry-infused juice over three months saw a decrease in the appearance of cellulite in just 90 days, and animal research found that it may decrease body fat. There needs to be more work to confirm these benefits in humans, but it’s a start!
What are its side effects?
Based on current research, chokeberry has no known adverse side effects, but scientists say they need to look into it further. One potential downside to note, however, is that it has an astringent quality to it that may make your mouth feel dry after consuming it, so you’ll want to eat chokeberries with other foods, such as mixing it into a smoothie, juice, or granola bowl.
Where can you find it?
Chances are you probably won’t find chokeberry produce in your run-of-the-mill grocery store, though many specialty and health food establishments carry it either in dried, juice or fresh form, or as a powder supplement. You can also order it online as a juice (Buy on Amazon, $38.95) or in capsules (Buy on Amazon, $25.99); just make sure to take a close look at the manufacturer first. As with any other supplements you’re considering adding to your diet, be sure to talk to your doctor first!