Health benefits of chokeberries
Chokeberries are low in calories and fats but are rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Black chokeberries compose significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins. Total anthocyanin content in the choke berries is 1480 mg per 100 g of fresh berries, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g (Wu et al. 2004, 2006). Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries on regular basis offers potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. (- By Dr. Paul Gross, 2007-07-09).
Laboratory analyses of anthocyanins in chokeberries have identified the following individual chemicals: cyanidin-3-galactoside, quercetin, peonidin, delphinidin, petunidin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, pelargonidin and malvidin. These flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants have proven health benefits through scavenging dangerous oxygen free radicals from the body.
Cancer research on anthocyanins, where black choke berry preparations were first used to inhibit chemically induced cancer in the rat esophagus by 30-60% and of the colon by up to 80%. Effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development, choke-berries are a practical research tool and hold a promising therapeutic source, since they contain highest amount of anthocyanins among native North American berries [J. Agric. Food Chem. 50 (12): 3495–500].
- They also rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, luteins and zeaxanthins. Zeaxanthin has photo-filtering effects on UV rays and thus protects eyes from age related macular disease in the elderly (ARMD).
Chokeberries are also good source of many antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta carotene and folate and minerals like potassium, iron and manganese. 100 g of fresh berries provide about 35% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C.
The oxygen radical absorbency capacity or ORAC (measurement of antioxidant strength of food items) demonstrates choke berry with one of the highest values yet recorded -16,062 micro moles of Trolox Equivalents (TE) per 100 g.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.5 g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber||5.3 g||14%|
|Vitamin A||214 IU||7%|
|Vitamin C||21 mg||35%|
|Vitamin E||1.17 mg||8%|
|Vitamin K||19.8 mcg||17%|
Selection and storage
In the wild, chokeberries usually are picked up from their natural habitat and eaten directly after simple washing. While purchasing from the stores, choose berries that feature uniform surface and color. Remove any wet, mottled berries as they tend to spread the mold to other ones.
Berries can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. Wash them in cold water just prior to use to keep their texture intact.
Choke berry contains oxalic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in some fruits and vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. It is therefore, in individuals with known history of oxalate urinary tract stones may not have to eat too much of these fruits and, vegetables especially belonging to the brassica family. Adequate water intake is advised in these individuals to maintain normal urine output. Oxalic acid also interferes with the absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
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