Have you ever heard of a chokeberry? Me neither, until I attended a nutrition research conference and learned that they are helping rats manage their weight. Intriguing, especially if they can help do that for people too. So, if you’re curious about the chokeberry, look no further.
Chokeberries, a distant relative of the cherry, grow in the U.S. But, they are inedible in raw form; hence, the name “choke,” I’m thinking. They have a very high anthocyanin content, a plant chemical that gives all berries their color. Anthocyanins are really good, even if it is hard to pronounce. In fact, laboratory studies show potential benefits of anthocyanins to combat:
- aging and neurological diseases
- bacterial infections
A particular research study was looking at the use of chokeberries for weight management and diabetes prevention. Pre-diabetic rats were given an extract of chokeberries, which proved to help manage weight and blood sugar. Now, before you go looking for frozen chokeberries in your supermarket, you may want to think twice. Since they taste so strong, they aren’t really available in raw fruit form. However, chokeberries can be made into wine, syrups, jams, pies (mmmm healthy) and used in supplements. For now, keep eating the edible berries with anthocyanins like cherries, cranberries, blueberries, purple grapes, and blackberries.
Watch my latest video report on the nutrition research on chokeberries.
May 13th, 2010