Berries are one of the most common foods on the planet. They come in small, juicy, ready-to-eat bites and make an ideal snack with numerous health benefits.
While the more widely cultivated varieties, like blueberries, cranberries and blackberries are well-known, there are also several incredibly health berries that are probably harder to find, but worth looking into.
Here are six such examples of incredibly health berries you should definitely give a try.
Aronia / Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)
Aronia, also known as chokeberry, is a shrub of the family Rosaceae native to North America. The
It is rich in vitamins C and E, as well as folate and important minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
This powerful combination of nutrients protects body cells from mutation caused by free radicals and can be useful in the prevention of chronic diseases.
Aronia berries are often found in fruit juices as well as other commercial products such as jams, jellies, salsas, and even ice creams.
What’s more, they are becoming more available fresh of frozen at health food stores and online.
2. Dewberry (rubus caesius)
Dewberries look like deep purple raspberries or blackberries that aren’t quite ripe yet. They are, however, smaller in size and covered with waxy droplets that give them their name.
This curious little fruit is low in calories (59 per serving) but high in dietary fiber. It is a good source of vitamin C, E, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, and antioxidants.
Apart from its substantial antioxidant capacity, dewberry boasts anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting abilities.
These berries are very aromatic and juicy but taste a bit tart, so you will probably need to sweeten them.
You can cook them in jams, jellies, crumbles, pies, and juices. The leaves of the dewberry plant can also be brewed into a tisane.
3. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Elderberries are rich in vitamins C and A, and contain an array of other nutrients in smaller amounts, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, folate, biotin, potassium, and calcium.
There are also flavonoids, anthocyanins, rutin, quercetin, viburnic acid, tannins, and glycosides. Elderberries can promote digestive health and boost the immune system.
They can help in the treatment of respiratory problems like colds and coughs.
Moreover, some of the antioxidant compounds of elderberries can regulate insulin and glucose levels, thus helping with diabetes management.
Other benefits include digestive aid, cardiovascular protection, skin health, and weight loss.
Fresh elderberries are very hard to find because they do not keep well. Look for reputable stores that sell them frozen or dried.
4. Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)
Lingonberries grow on low, evergreen bushes. You can find them in the mountains and forests in Scandinavia, in the arctic tundra and the northern regions of Russia, Canada, and the United States.
These berries share many nutritional characteristics with more well-known species like cranberries. They are rich in fiber, vitamins A, B-complex, and C.
They also contain minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Lingonberries boast a lot of compounds that offer antioxidant protection such as beta-carotene, tannins, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidin, flavonoids, resveratrol, quercetin, and many more.
These chemicals help reduce inflammation and assist in the treatment of urinary tract infections. Lingonberries are commonly sold raw in Sweden and are used in several Swedish dishes.
Lingonberry products like jams, syrups or juices, are easier to find in Scandinavian food stores online.
5. Mulberry (Morus spp)
Mulberries resemble large blackberries or raspberries, and they ripen constantly over a long period of time. These amazing berries are high in vitamin C and iron.
They also contain good deal of vitamins K and B2, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
There are also other important compounds such as anthocyanins, phytoestrogens, and resveratol. The last two compounds are being researched for their role in preventing hormone-related cancers, including some forms of breast cancer.
Resveratrol could also prevent oxidative damage to the neurons, which leads to cognitive decline and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, mulberries and mulberry extracts may help you reduce cholesterol levels. You can use them raw, dried or frozen in juices, jams, jellies, pies, pancakes, muesli, snacks, sauces, and wines.
6. Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
Salmonberries, also known as Alaska berries, are highly nutritious. They are particularly rich in vitamin A, a nutrient that promotes healthy eyesight and skin.
They are a good source of vitamin C, E, and K, as well as glucose, fructose, and fiber. Vitamin C is, of cource, a very powerful antioxidant and immunostimulant.
These fantastic berries are also a great source of potassium, a very important mineral for the nerves, muscles, and heart.
It can also help prevent kidney stones and stabilize blood pressure. Salmonberries have a vibrant orange and red color, and a sweet, slightly sour taste.
There are great for jams, jellies, wine, and smoothies. They are hard to dry because of their high water content, so it’s best to freeze them or use them immediately.