Anthocyanidins are responsible for the deep, rich purple color in the Aronia Berry. But what exactly is an anthocyanidin? Anthocyanidins are sugar-free antioxidant nutrients that occur in a number of plants that produce fruits and flowers above ground. Anthocyanidins, while generally found in the fruit itself, are also found in the leaves, bark, stems and roots of some fruit producing plants, in particular the Aronia Berry bush.
Anthocyanidins belong to the flavonoid family. While most flavonoids have some beneficial aspects for the human body, not all flavonoids are created equally. Unlike a number of flavonoids, anthocyanidins will maintain their antioxidant and nutrient properties after being processed in the digestive system of the human body. These properties make fruits like the Aronia Berry and vegetables such as the red cabbage a potent factor in nutritional antioxidant value for the body.
There are many studies being done on the health benefits of natural anthocyanidins in the diet and the various effects they may have upon the human body. Promising research shows anthocyanidins may be beneficial for the brain and the nervous system. It may improve the cognitive process and prevent damage to the nerves caused by the ingestion of free radicals. It may improve circulation, prevent high blood pressure, prevent atherosclerosis in large blood vessels, reduce stress on the blood vessels and may even assist in reducing the occurrence of varicose veins. There is also some research under way into the positive effects of the anthocyanidin on diabetic retinopathy (blood vessel damage in the back of the eye) and the effect of anthocyanidins on the eyesight and night vision.
Anthocyanidins are under the microscope for the additional benefits they may have regarding inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, colitis, IBS, prevention of heart disease and the effects on patients treated after heart attacks, not to mention various cancers and recovery time for athletes after a strenuous workout or competition.
While the studies are continually ongoing and guardedly optimistic, the one fact that can be taken from the research is the positive effect of the high antioxidant nature of anthocyanidins and their ability to boost the fight against free radicals entering the body. Remember, the deeper, darker and the richer the color of the fruit or vegetable, the better the content of the anthocyanidin flavonoid and the higher it is in antioxidants.
The anthocyanidin and the Aronia Berry may not be the "magic bullet" to end all ills, but they are essentially one of a number of factors working together that may promote a better life through health and wellness. The important fact to take from this is that supplementing the diet with foods rich in anthocyanidins can assist to fight free radicals in the body and boost the overall nutritional balance in the diet.