Aronia – Chokeberry and anthocyanins
What are anthocyanins?
The name “anthocyanins” comes from two Greek words “antos” – flower, and “kyanos” – blue. Anthocyanins, therefore, are natural vegetable pigments, which make flowers red, orange and blue. Their colour varies depending on the environment and on their chemical structure. However, you will find these pigments not only in the flowers but also in the fruit, especially in their skin. For this reason, it is worthwhile to look into their properties and effects, as these compounds are present in our daily diet.
Where to find anthocyanins?
Anthocyanins occur in most plants. They are found in flowers, fruit (mainly the skin), vegetables, seeds and leaves. The quantity of anthocyanins in a fruit depends, to a large extent, on its ripeness.
Role of anthocyanins
For a human, the most important role of anthocyanins is protecting our bodies against the harmful effects of UV radiation. But it is not the only advantage of these compounds. It is believed that they alleviate inflammatory conditions and strengthen blood vessels, thus preventing atherosclerosis. The anthocyanins occurring in hibiscus flowers can prevent liver diseases, while those found in the black currant fruit have are beneficial to your eyesight. Many effects attributed to anthocyanins have not been yet well tested and documented. For example, they are believed to have an anti-cancer effect, and prevent obesity and diabetes.
Chokeberry and anthocyanins
Chokeberry is a rich source of anthocyanins. It has been demostrated that 100g of chokeberry fruit contain even 500 mg of anthocyanins, which is by 100 mg more than in elderberry fruit. For example, red wine, which is famous for its favourable effect on the cardiovascular system, contains only 35 mg of anthocyanins.
As you can see, anthocyanins are extremely important chemical compounds for humans. Therefore, it is recommendable to ensure that your diet is rich enough in anthocyanins. Since they occur in large quantities in distinctly dark fruit like chokeberry, black currant, blackberry or blackthorn fruit, make sure these fruits are present in your daily diet.