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Examiner
  • Aronia berry: A powerful super fruit

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  • September is Aronia Berry Month! What is an aronia berry? Aronia berries, also known as chokeberries, are super fruits grown in the Midwest that contain many beneficial health properties.
    These dark purple berries are leaders in antioxidant levels when compared to many other fruits. They have many valuable nutrients that make them a powerful super food.
    You can enjoy them by the handful, blend with a smoothie, bake into a sweet bread, make a homemade jam or jelly - or many other ways can be discovered to use this nutritious berry. Celebrate this month by adding the aronia berry into your diet to receive all the health benefits it has to offer!
    Why aronia berries?
    Antioxidants: Antioxidants are the body’s protector; they work hard to prevent damage to cells, which can be linked to premature aging and various diseases. Aronia berries are considered to have some of the highest concentration of antioxidants. They have three times as many antioxidants as blueberries!
    Good for the heart: The rich antioxidant content of aronia berries may help to support heart health. Aronias have a natural blend of antioxidants. One of the main antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, has been shown to help fight diseases which are caused by oxidative stress. They give these berries their beautiful, deep purple color.
    Natural pain and inflammation relief: Not only are anthocyanins good for the heart, but they also act as anti-inflammatories. Fruits that have a high concentration of anthocyanins should be considered in an individual’s diet to possibly help ease pain associated with arthritis.
    Eye health: This delectable fruit may also benefit eye health. Consuming aronia berries may help with eye inflammation and the possible formation of cataracts.
    Aronia berry cayenne sauce and cream cheese
    Serves: 6
    All you need:
    Sawmill Hollow Aronia Berry Cayenne Sauce (3 ounces) 1 1/3-less-fat block cream cheese
    All you do:
    Poke cayenne seeds in aronia cayenne sauce down (mix of sweet and spice throughout).
    1. Place block of cream cheese on plate.
    2. Cut a slight line in the middle of cream cheese.
    3. Pour aronia cayenne sauce over cream cheese.
    4. Serve with crackers or gluten-free crackers. Original or plain crackers is recommended.
    Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories, 11 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 8 g fat, 3 g protein, 5 g saturated fat, 150 mg sodium, 10 g sugar, 0 g trans fat. Daily values: 2% vitamin A; 2% vitamin C; 4% calcium; 0% iron.
    Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a  Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com
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