Aronia Berry Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Black Aronia.
DirkRietschel / Getty Images

The aronia berry (Aronia melanocarpa) is the fruit of the small Aronia tree that is native to Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States. The fruit is also sometimes called chokeberry or black chokeberry. It is often confused with a similar fruit called the chokecherry.

Even though many describe aronia berries as being too astringent to eat, the fruit is still consumed in foods and beverages for its purported health benefits. While there are some studies supporting the use of aronia berries for better health, not all of the health claims are supported by science.

Nutrition Facts

The following information is for a single serving (100 grams or about 3/4 cup) of aronia berries.

  • Calories: 47
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 9.6g
  • Sugars: 4.3g
  • Fiber: 5.3g
  • Protein: 1.4g

Carbs

A 100-gram serving of aronia berries contains only about 47 calories. Most of the calories are carbohydrates.

You'll benefit from 5.3 grams of fiber if you consume one serving of aronia berries. Consuming fiber improves digestion and regularity and helps you to feel full after eating. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, fiber may provide other health benefits, including decreasing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The Daily Value for fiber is 25 grams (based on a 2000 calorie per day diet).

There are 4.3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar in aronia berries. Sugar that occurs naturally in foods is generally less of a concern than sugars that are added to food as part of processing (called "added sugars").

The glycemic load of a 100-gram serving of aronia berries is estimated to be three, making it a low glycemic food. Glycemic load takes portion size into account when considering the food's impact on blood glucose.

Fats

There is less than one gram of fat in a serving of aronia berries.

Protein

Aronia berries provide a very small amount of protein, about 1.4 grams per serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

Aronia berries are a very good source of vitamin C, providing about 21 milligrams or about 35% of your recommended daily intake. The berries are also packed with vitamin K providing 13.5 micrograms or 17% of your recommended daily intake. You'll also get vitamin A (7% of your daily needs), vitamin E (8%), and folate (6%).

Aronia berries are packed with manganese, a mineral that helps your body maintain a healthy brain and nervous system. A single serving of the berries provides 0.6 milligrams or about 32% of your recommended daily intake. You'll also get small amounts of zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium in a serving of aronia berries.

Health Benefits

Chokeberry is consumed all over the world but particularly in Eastern Europe and Russia in an attempt to gain certain health benefits or treat conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, bladder infections, breast cancer, arthritis, obesity, changes in fat metabolism, and infertility in men.

It is believed that Native Americans consumed aronia berries to combat the common cold. Some, but not all, of these benefits are supported by strong scientific evidence.

Potential for Disease Prevention

Aronia berries are an excellent source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols, such as phenolic acids (neo chlorogenic and chlorogenic acids) and flavonoids (anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and flavonols). Polyphenols are known to promote good health in a variety of ways.

Researchers state that these compounds may help protect the body against certain diseases including metabolic disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. However, scientists also acknowledge that the polyphenols in aronia berries vary depending on the particular cultivar, level of fruit ripeness, the growing locality, and climatic conditions.

It is also not known how much of the polyphenols are absorbed by the body when aronia berries are consumed. So while there is potential for the fruit to provide certain health-boosting properties, it is not known if they have a measurable impact on any disease.

Decreased Blood Pressure

Scientists are in the process of trying to understand how aronia berries may be able to aid in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). A promising animal study published in a 2017 issue of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity suggested that active substances in aronia berries may have a positive effect on blood pressure.

Studies showing this effect in humans are limited. One study conducted in 2007 showed that an aronia berry extract combined with statins helped reduce blood pressure in patients after a heart attack. And an older study demonstrated a similar effect in patients with a history of heart attacks. But both studies had limitations and more recent studies haven't been conducted. Further studies need to be undertaken before scientists can know for sure if or how consuming the berries can impact blood pressure.

Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections

There is limited evidence that drinking aronia berry juice may help to prevent urinary tract infections in older patients.

A pilot study published in Nutrition Research describes a research project where residents of a nursing home were followed for six months. One group consumed aronia berry juice for three months and during the next three months, they consumed a placebo. A second group consumed a placebo for three months and aronia berry juice during the next three months. Scientists saw a significant decrease in urinary tract infections in both groups during the period when they consumed aronia berry juice.

Weight Loss

One preliminary study published in a 2014 issue of The Scientific World Journal suggested that drinking aronia berry juice may aid in the fight against obesity.

Researchers evaluated 20 postmenopausal women (aged 45-65) with abdominal obesity over the course of four weeks. The women drank a daily dose of 100 mL of chokeberry juice enriched with two grams of glucomannan fiber as part of their daily diet. At the end of the study, they showed a 3% decrease in body mass index, a 4% decrease in waist circumference, and other improvements in health.

However, this study had limitations. The study participants were sedentary and followed a moderately unhealthy diet. It is unclear how drinking the aronia berry juice compares to a traditional calorie-restricted diet or an exercise plan for weight loss and improved BMI. Additionally, it is not clear whether the aronia berry or the glucomannan (or a combination of both) provided the benefit.

Lower Cholesterol

Some preliminary evidence suggests that aronia berries may help lower LDL cholesterol. But the limited evidence has not been consistent and only a few trials have been conducted on humans.

For example, one study conducted on men with mild high cholesterol showed that drinking aronia berry juice (250 milliliters daily) might decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels when compared to baseline.  But the results were not consistent from one phase of the trial to the next. Also, the study was limited in that there were only 35 study participants and the men were only followed for six weeks.

Diabetes Management

Several studies have focussed on the consumption of aronia berries, aronia berry juice, or aronia berry extract and its impact on the management of diabetes. Authors of one large research review concluded that the berries "effectively improve glucose metabolism, so they seem to be a good choice in the treatment of diabetes." However, most of the studies cited to support that conclusion were in vitro studies, not research conducted on humans.

One other review published in Frontiers in Nutrition proposed that aronia berries have antidiabetic properties. Authors of that study cited both human trials and rodent studies to support their conclusion, although human trials were limited. The study authors concluded that further systematic studies and investigations should be conducted.

Allergies

Reports of an aronia berry allergy are lacking. However, there are reports of cross-reactivity between other types of berries including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. It is not known if someone who is allergic to those berries might experience a reaction when exposed to aronia berries.

Blackberries are a member of the Rosaceae family as are aronia berries, so there is potential that those who are allergic to blackberries may experience a reaction when consuming aronia berries.

Adverse Effects

There are limited studies investigating the safety of aronia berries. Experts advise that consuming the berries orally is possibly safe. According to the Therapeutic Research Center, capsules and juices containing chokeberry have been used with apparent safety in clinical studies lasting up to 90 days.

There is not enough evidence to indicate an appropriate dose of aronia berry or aronia berry juice. Different amounts (ranging from 100 milliliters to 250 milliliters) of juice have been studied without adverse events or side effects.

Side effects from consuming aronia berries or aronia berry juice are rare but may include constipation or diarrhea. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to avoid using aronia berry as a medicine. Those with diabetes are also advised to exercise caution when consuming the fruit or the fruit extract as it may lower blood sugar.

There is a possibility that aronia berry interacts with certain medications including diabetes medications, medications that slow blood clotting, medications that change the liver, and Yondelis (trabectedin). Always speak with your healthcare provider if you are on a medication and are unsure about a potential interaction.

Varieties

The ‘Autumn Magic’ and ‘Iraqis Beauty’ are the two most commonly sold aronia berry shrubs in the United States. ‘Viking’ and ‘Nero’ are popularly grown in Russia for commercial fruit production. Berries from these shrubs share a similar look and taste.

The chokeberry and aronia berry shrub are the same thing. However, they are often confused with chokecherry, a shrub or small tree commonly used for farmstead and field windbreaks. The distinction is important because chokecherry is toxic to animals with segmented stomachs (such as horses, cattle, deer moose).

Chokecherry leaves and seeds can also be toxic to humans as chewing causes them to release small amounts of cyanide. There is no evidence that chewing or consuming chokeberry (aronia berry) seeds or leaves is harmful.

When It’s Best

Aronia berries are not commonly found in grocery stores. Most people that consume them grow their own aronia berry bushes. The berries ripen in the late summer or early fall.

Aronia berry products are more often found in health food stores and other markets. You may find fruit syrups, fruit juice, tea, spreads, jellies, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. Aronia berry chews, powders, supplements, and dried or dehydrated aronia berries are also available in stores and online.

Storage and Food Safety

Store aronia berries like you would store any other berry. Store them at room temperature if you plan to eat them within a few days. Or if you plan to save then for a week or so, place them in the refrigerator. Rinse the berries before consuming them.

How to Prepare

Aronia berries can be eaten fresh, dried, or frozen. They can also be used in recipes like you would use any other berry. Some fans of the fruit bake aronia berry into pies, make jam or toss them into muffins, bread, or other baked goods.

Juice extracted from aronia berries can be used to make dessert toppings, gravy, candy, salsa, barbecue sauce, ketchup or other condiments. Some also use it to flavor yogurt, sorbet, ice cream, milk, or vinegar.

Keep in mind that these berries have a distinct taste that many find unappealing. They are most often described as being astringent. The fruit is known to be high in tannins which can make your mouth pucker when you eat them. But others find them to be pleasant and mild. They have a high sugar content when they are fully ripe. Many people choose to pair aronia berries with other fruits, such as blueberries or bananas.

Recipes

Aronia Berry Recipes to Try

You can use aronia berries like you use other berries in recipes. You can add them to smoothies or use them instead of (or in addition to) blueberries or raspberries in muffins and other baked goods.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dietary Fiber. 2015

  2. Jurikova T, Mlcek J, Skrovankova S, et al. Fruits of black chokeberry aronia melanocarpa in the prevention of chronic diseasesMolecules. 2017;22(6):944. Published 2017 Jun 7. doi:10.3390/molecules22060944

  3. Cebova M, Klimentova J, Janega P, Pechanova O. Effect of bioactive compound of Aronia melanocarpa on cardiovascular system in experimental hypertensionOxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:8156594. doi:10.1155/2017/8156594

  4. Naruszewicz M, Laniewska I, Millo B, Dłuzniewski M. Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhanced reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI). Atherosclerosis. 2007;194(2):e179-84. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.12.032

  5. Naruszewicz M, Daniewski M, Laniewska I, Pikto-Pietkiewicz W, Millo B, Zapolska-Downar D. Effect of anthocyanins from chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) on blood pressure, inflammatory mediators and cell adhesion molecules in patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI). Atherosclerosis Suppl 2003; 4: 143  doi:10.1016/S1567-5688(03)90615-5

  6. Handeland M, Grude N, Torp T, Slimestad R. Black chokeberry juice (Aronia melanocarpa) reduces incidences of urinary tract infection among nursing home residents in the long term--a pilot study. Nutr Res. 2014;34(6):518-25. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2014.05.005

  7. Poreba R, Skoczynska A, Gac P, Poreba M, Jedrychowska I, Affelska-Jercha A, Turczyn B, Wojakowska A, Oszmianski J, Andrzejak R. Drinking of chokeberry juice from the ecological farm Dzieciolowo and distensibility of brachial artery in men with mild hypercholesterolemia. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2009;16(2):305-8.

  8. Banjari I, Misir A, Šavikin K, et al. Antidiabetic Effects of Aronia melanocarpa and its other therapeutic propertiesFront Nutr. 2017;4:53. Published 2017 Nov 6. doi:10.3389/fnut.2017.00053

  9. Therapeutic Research Center Natural Medicine Database. Chokeberry. Updated: 4/22/2019