Photo: (left) Aroniaberry (right) Blueberry
July is National Blueberry Month and we thought we would
take this opportunity to do a bit of a berry comparison between the better
known blueberry and the lesser known Aronia
The blueberry is high in the nutrients Vitamin K, C, manganese, fiber, and copper. However, did you know the Aronia Berry matches or even exceeds the blueberry in each of these nutrients? In fact, the Aronia Berry also contains a healthy dose phytonutrients, calcium, Vitamin E, Potassium, Iron, and Zinc while the blueberry does not.
The blueberry is grown in the cooler climes of both the
northern and southern hemispheres. The largest producer of blueberries in the
world is the United States. The
Both berries supplement certain aspects of health and wellness with their natural antioxidant power. However, the Aronia Berry provides a much greater level of antioxidant, free radical fighting compounds than the blueberry. In fact, on the USDA ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Scale, a scale used to measure the antioxidant levels in various fruits, vegetables and herbs, the blueberry scaled at 4669 per 100 grams, while 100 grams of the Aronia Berry scaled at 16,062 (See the chart comparisons of the berries).
The blueberry has relatively few side effects, although there are some indications that it may contribute to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes and may actually contribute to hypoglycemia in these particular cases. Blueberries have been shown to interact with some drugs used to control blood sugar. Blueberries may also affect glucose levels thereby interfering with blood sugar levels before and after surgery. The Aronia Berry, insofar as preliminary studies have shown, may affect only a mild case of diarrhea from overindulgence. No additional side effects have been seen in any of the studies being conducted on the Aronia Berry at this time.
All in all, both berries do provide their own natural supplemental benefits and powerful antioxidant levels and both are an excellent addition to any well-balanced, nutritious diet. However, for the highest quality of natural antioxidants in the berry family and the greatest benefit to my diet, my money is still on the lesser-known Aronia Berry and the “power of purple”. And the Aronia Berry side effects are minimal as they have a lower glycemic index than most berries.