“An apple a day,” as the saying goes “keeps the doctor away." Apples are indeed a great resource of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In fact, we know the apple is an amazing fruit from the numerous studies and articles released over the past several years. However, did you know that the Aronia Berry is very closely related to the apple and has higher health and wellness content than its better known sibling?
The Aronia Berry and the apple spring from the same family of plant species called Rosacea, or the Rose family. However, the Aronia Berry actually exceeds the apple when it comes to antioxidants and free radical protection. According to the USDA ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Chart, the red delicious apple scales highest in the raw apple category with 4234 per 100 grams, while the dried version of the same scales a bit higher at 6681 on the ORAC scale. 100 grams of raw Aronia Berry scaled in at 16062 on the same chart. This gives the Aronia Berry the highest level of antioxidants in the Rosacea family of fruits, which also include apricots, pears, cherries, strawberries and the like.
The apple was one of the earliest known fruits to be cultivated and it’s been around since the inception of civilization. The apple is commonly believed to have originated somewhere in the mountains of Central Asia, but didn’t find its way to the United States until the 17th century. While the Aronia Berry isn’t as well known as the apple, it has also been around for many centuries and was most commonly used as an herbal remedy or for nutrition during the winter months in Native American culture. Aronia Berry use all but vanished from the North American continent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but was eventually rediscovered in several Eastern Bloc countries. The Aronia Berry didn’t experience resurgence in the United States until the late 20th century, thanks to Superberries founder Ken Sailors and partner Westin Foods.
7,500 varieties of apples are grown nearly all over the world with the exception of the frigid climes. China is the largest producer of apples, accounting for nearly six percent of global production, or over 31 million tons of apples. The United States is a close second, with the State of Washington producing the most apples in the US. The Aronia Berry thrives in cooler, seasonal climates and the largest producer of the Aronia Berry in the world at present time is Poland. Poland accounts for over 80 percent of Aronia Berry production. However, with the promising research and studies being done on the health and wellness benefits of the Aronia Berry, production is rapidly growing in the United States with the state of Iowa leading the way in Aronia Berry production.
Various in depth studies indicate there are little side effects from eating apples in most people. Still, apples can increase blood sugar levels and experts do caution that diabetic persons should monitor their blood sugar levels after eating an apple. It is also not recommended to eat the seeds of the apple. The seeds contain traces of cyanide making them poisonous and unfit for human consumption. Experts have determined that consuming one cup of apple seeds can result in severe health issues and even death. There are no known side effects from consuming the Aronia Berry, its seeds, twigs or leaves at this time other than a mild case of diarrhea from overuse.
While the apple does have its benefits, the Aronia Berry has a greater amount of antioxidants offering better overall free radical protection than apples. Still, both are fantastic super foods, and when used in conjunction with a well-balanced diet the apple and the Aronia Berry in particular, can help keep the body on track to maintain optimum health and wellness overall.