While low in fat and calories, the black chokeberry is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients. It’s actually one of the healthiest known berries to eat, based on its extremely high nutritional content.
The plant is a very hardy deciduous shrub that thrives in throughout the Midwest year round, although it is native to eastern North America and is also widely planted in eastern Asia. In optimal environments, black chokeberries can grow from mid-summer through early January.
The berries grow in heavy clusters of purplish-black fruit (when ripe). Each berry is approximately the size of a large blueberry or small grape, and tastes slightly bitter, making them ideal for jams or juices in combination with other more sweet ingredients.
Black chokeberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, anthocyanins, and minerals such as iron, manganese, and potassium. They are very beneficial for a variety of health reasons, and they are particularly helpful in preventing oxidative stress, which is the cause for many serious health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, and arthritis. The berries help to:
- Destroy free radicals, which are a root cause of aging
- Reduce spikes in sugar levels to help fight symptoms of diabetes
- Protect cells to prevent the growth of cancer cells
- Promote eye health with antioxidants and phytonutrients
- Maintain better cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke
- Help promote healthy weight by burning fat and preventing the body from storing it
- Improve the immune system