back to top

    Chokeberry has the most beneficial substances among all fruits

    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! It is worth knowing that in terms of polyphenols, i.e., bioactive compounds with numerous proven health-promoting properties, chokeberry beats not only other fruits and vegetables but also, among others, green tea, ginger or red wine. That is why, for many years now, Polish chokeberry preserves have been bought by the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese.

    It is high time that, after years of admiration for various exotic “superfoods” from regions of the world more or less distant from us, Polish consumers finally discovered and appreciated the richness of domestic “superfoods”, i.e., food products with exceptional nutritional and health properties which are produced in Poland. 


     One of the biggest “stars” in this category should be chokeberry, of which Poland is, by the way, the leading producer and exporter in the world.  It is worth knowing that these still underestimated in our country, inconspicuous fruits, as well as their preserves, are distinguished from others by a record content of polyphenols, which is why they are sometimes called by experts in the subject “Polish black gold”.


    “Polyphenols are bioactive plant compounds that give plants their colour.  They are also responsible for their characteristic tart and bitter taste.  They also protect plants against fungi, bacteria, insects and UV radiation.  All polyphenols play a very important role in the human body – they are antioxidants, thanks to which they have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and hypotensive (i.e., anti-hypertensive – editor’s note) effects,” we read on the website of the National Centre for Nutrition Education of the National Institute of Public Health (NIZP-PZH).


    As mentioned earlier, chokeberry contains an extremely high amount of polyphenols.  Specifically, their total content in these fruits ranges from nearly 2,000 to as much as 8,000 mg per 100 g of dry matter, depending on the variety, cultivation methods and time of harvest.  Of the various polyphenols found in chokeberry, anthocyanins and procyanidins are the most abundant.  However, these fruits are also a source of many other polyphenols, albeit in smaller amounts, such as flavonols and phenolic acids. 


     “According to modern pharmacological research, chokeberry has many health-promoting activities.  Anthocyanin-rich chokeberry fruit extracts have antioxidant, antimutagenic, cardioprotective and antihyperglycemic (anti-diabetic – editor’s note) properties,” said the researchers from the Medical University of Gdansk, in an analysis dedicated to chokeberry, which was published in the academic journal “Journal of Medicinal Food”. 


     Similar scientific publications on chokeberry can be found in abundance.


    “Numerous studies confirm that enriching the diet with polyphenols, of which chokeberry is a good and natural source, protects against atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke and slows down the ageing of the body.  These compounds not only protect the body against many diseases but also mitigate their effects,” reads an expert article published in the professional journal “Family Medicine”. 


     However, the list of health benefits and potential applications of chokeberry in the prevention and treatment of diseases does not end here.


    “For example, pilots are exposed to ionizing radiation sometimes much higher than workers at a nuclear power plant.  This radiation causes the body to produce free radicals that damage lipids, proteins and DNA.  The best way to reduce genotoxicity is to administer potent antioxidants.  Chokeberry fruits and chokeberry juice are also used here,” emphasize the authors of the above-mentioned study. 


     It is largely due to this reason, i.e., the possibility of using chokeberry as a preventive and therapeutic agent against the harmful effects of ionizing radiation (e.g., in radiation sickness), that it owes its growing popularity in Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea”, estimates Dr Stanisław Pluta from the Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice.


    Professor Iwona Wawer from the Medical University of Warsaw, who is one of the greatest experts on this subject in our country, points out that the consumption of chokeberry or its products can also be recommended to people with vision problems, because the bioactive components contained in chokeberry, among other things, improve microcirculation and reduce capillary fragility in the eyes.  In addition, the specialist points out that polyphenols slow down the development of neurodegenerative lesions and diseases (impairment of brain function progressing with age or due to an unhealthy lifestyle, alcohol abuse, etc.).


    Concluding the topic of polyphenols, it is worth mentioning that in a ranking of food products containing the highest amount of them, published in the prestigious journal “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, chokeberry took seventh place among nearly 500 analyzed products!  This analysis shows that it is the world’s richest source of polyphenols among fruits, second only to some herbs and spices, and cocoa.  It is far behind such products as green tea, broccoli, red wine and apples.


    More in section