The Aronia Berry

Aronia (Photinia melanocarpa, formerly Aronia melanocarpa) or referred to as the “chokeberry or black chokeberry.”

Eastern European Roots:

The Aronia Berry was discovered around 1900 by Ivan V. Michurin (1855-1935) who was a pioneer in the realm of fruit growing. He had been investigating a frost-resistant species of fruit that could feed the eastern European population in the cold North. In the early days, Ivan had cultivated and grown Aronia in the Altai Mountains in Russia. It later expanded to other areas within Russia and parts of Eastern Europe.
The dark berries were grown on three large plantations in Saxony (Germany) in the 1970s which were used by the food industry as a natural plant pigment. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the interest in Aronia berries was lost and large sections of the old fields ran wild. 

One of the largest growing areas was then situated at the current Elbe cycle (the international network of cycling routes) all over Europe. It is the path between Dresden and Meißen (Meißen is sometimes also known as the "cradle of Saxony") and it was there the small dark berry was re-discovered at the beginning of the 2000s.

Eastern North American Roots:

Native to North America and commonly found among the wet woods and swamps, aronia berries and chokecherries both contain polyphenolic compounds, such as anthocyanins, and the two plants are distantly related to the Rosaceae family.

The aronia berry bushes once thrived throughout most of North America. They mysteriously vanished, only to be discovered by Ivan V. Michurin in the late 1800s. Europeans see the berry as a “superfruit” and it has become extremely popular as part of a healthy diet.

Also known as natures healer, Native Americans utilized and considered the berry to be an essential part of their daily health.

Today, the aronia is known for its nutrient-rich berries which contain vitamin K, folic acid, high ORAC, and numerous other vitamins. It also contains a powerful natural blend of polyphenolic antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals in our body created by daily living, stress, pollution, medical x-rays and even exercise. Free radicals can damage cells that could lead to health problems that are beyond our control. A healthy lifestyle along with a balanced diet is our natural defense.

Foods high in antioxidants like the aronia berry can assist in the support of the body’s defense against these radicals.