The fruit of aronia melanocarpa can be consumed fresh during harvesting that extends from late August to late October. Inside its fruit very small seeds are contained that are inconvenient to swallow. Their flavor is sour due to their high content of tannins. Their sour flavor becomes milder when the fruit is processed.

Consumption of aronia in other forms

For the biggest recruiting benefits of the fruit of aronia, the best is the consumption of the fruit in a fresh form. However, for the periods where the fresh fruit is not available on the market, there are alternative sources of recruitment of its benefits, through the products to which it can be transformed.

An excellent alternative suggestion is the juice of aronia, which can be met either as a pure juice or with combination with the juice of other fruits. The whole year the fruits of aronia can be consumed dried, in a form of currant, while the pectin of the fruit is high making it an ideal fruit for the production of jam. In the meanwhile aronia can be processed into syrup, liquor, wine and vinegar giving even more choices to the consumer.

At last the leaves of the plant consist an excellent raw material for the preparation of a hot drink which helps, among other things, to stress reduction.

Table of chemical contents

Nutritional value of fruit

The fruits of aronia are included in the family of functional foods or superfoods, namely foods with increased antioxidant and therapeutic substances which produce beneficial effects to the human body, preventing and healing diseases.

A characteristic feature of the fruits of aronia is that they have extremely high content of vital polyphenols (five times more than the grapes). In the fresh fruit of aronia the total polyphenol content is 1,752g per 100g of fruit. Tannins are the main element that gives us the group of polyphenols, which are chemical compounds with antioxidant, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties while they are rich in anthocyanines. Its content in anthocyanines is 1,48g per 100g of fresh fruit (https: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aronia#cite_note-Wu-20).

In ORAC scale, which is considered a widely accepted and reliable laboratory method of evaluating antioxidant elements of the foods, the aronia displayed the higher content in the category of berries and one of the highest contents in the list of foods (see. Chokeberry, pp 18 to http://www.orac-info-portal.de/download/ORAC_R2.pdf).

The 100g of fresh aronia fruit contain:

  • Vitamin C: 15-30mg, an amount equal to 35% of the recommended daily consumption
  • 10 to 13.5% sugars (fructose, glucose)
  • 1.3% malic and citric acid,
  • 0.6% tannins,
  • 0.75% coagulants,
  • 2.000-3.000mg vitamin P, or otherwise bioflavonoids, which, when ingested in combination with high levels of vitamin C lead to the maximum their beneficial properties, which are mainly the strengthening of the vessels structure and the cardiovascular system in generally and the regulation of cholesterol (http://www.vitamins.gr/CFF8D3A9.el.aspx). This vitamin is present at levels five times more than grapes and grapefruits and is considered that it helps significantly to the protection of the body from radiation. Therefore the fruit of aronia was granted to countries of the former USSR and other Eastern European countries, workers in nuclear plants and astronauts, before and after their space missions.
  • 2mg carotene,
  • 5-8mg iodine,
  • 1,2mg iron
  • 0,5-0,8mg vitamin E.
  • 0,5mg manganese,
  • and many other vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, B9, folic acid, minerals, potassium, amygdalin, catechins, etc.

Aronia as a medicinal plant

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Aronia is known for its rich medicinal properties, which are confirmed by numerous surveys. According to work of K.. Anagnostopoulos, agronomist of the university of Thessaly (http://www.science.agrigate.gr/νέες-καλλιέργειες/οι-φαρμακευτικές-ιδιότητες-της-αρώνια-aronia-melanocarpa-του-δημήτρη-αναγνωστόπουλου), the international literature displays, among other things, that aronia:

  • It has antioxidants,
  • It has important nutrients and anti-inflammatory action, helping significantly to combating viral diseases,
  • It helps to the protection of the gastric mucosa and it might have anticancer activity due to the existence of anthocyanins
  • It may help to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and to the blood pressure due to its rich content of flavonoids
  • It reduces the levels of glucose in the blood and consequently helps in the treatment of diabetes
  • It has beneficial effects on the liver and the kidneys and a possible beneficial effect against pancreatitis.
  • It assists to the inhibition of oxidative stress which is largely responsible for the appearance of various diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Alzheimer (http://www.iathiein.gr) and free radicals.

Consumption of fruits of aronia should be done with caution by patients with thrombophlebitis and blood clotting problems, as the use of large doses of aronia fruit can lead to increased blood clotting markers.

In any case, the consumption of aronia for therapeutic purposes should be done after a doctor consultation, who will determine the dose of consumption and the duration of treatment.