Chokeberry is one of its own kinds of berry packed with essential phyto-nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. These humble tiny berries from the wild natural shrub have recently grabbed the attention of fitness lovers and food scientists alike for their exceptional nutritive value.
Chokeberries are low in calories and fats. 100 g of fresh berries contain 47 calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the nature’s richest sources of flavonoid anthocyanin antioxidants. In addition, the berries contain handsome levels of minerals, and vitamins, and dietary fiber obtained through their peel.
The oxygen radical absorbency capacity or ORAC (measurement of antioxidant strength of food items) demonstrates chokeberry with one of the highest values yet recorded among berries-16,062 micro-moles of Trolox Equivalents (TE) per 100 g.
Laboratory analyses of anthocyanins in chokeberries have identified the following individual chemicals:cyanidin-3-galactoside, quercetin, peonidin, delphinidin, petunidin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, pelargonidin and malvidin. These flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants have proven health benefits through scavenging dangerous oxygen-free radicals from the body.
They are also rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, luteins and zeaxanthins. Zea-xanthinhas photo-filtering effects on UV rays and thus protects eyes from age-related macular disease in the elderly (ARMD).
Further, they are an also good source of many antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene and folate and minerals like potassium, iron and manganese. 100 g of fresh berries provide about 35% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C.
Chokeberry contains oxalic acid, a naturally-occurring substance found in some fruits and vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. It is therefore, in individuals with known history of oxalate urinary tract stones may not have to eat too much of these fruits and vegetables especially belonging within the Brassica family. Adequate water intake is advised in these individuals to maintain normal urine output. Oxalic acid also interferes with the absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
In the wild, chokeberries usually are picked up from their natural habitat and can be eaten directly after simple washing. While purchasing from the stores, choose berries that feature fresh, uniform, shiny, clean-surface and color. Remove any wet, mottled berries, since they tend to spread mold to other ones.
Berries can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. Wash them in cold water just prior to use to keep their texture intact.