Aronia Berry Benefits (and How to Use Them)

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Aronia Berry Benefits (and How to Use Them)

In my Home Remedies For Pink Eye article, I briefly mentioned a little-known super fruit called black chokeberry or aronia berry. While you may have noticed it on an ingredients list of a superfood blend, most people don’t know much about it. That’s unfortunate because it’s a powerful berry with many uses and health benefits. Let’s explore aronia berry…

What Is Aronia Berry?

Aronia berry (Aronia melanocarpa) is a “superfood” berry that grows on a leafy shrub native to North America. It’s also known by its common name, black chokeberry, and belongs to the Rosaceae (rose) family. People often mistakenly call aronia berries chokecherries. Although they have some similarities, chokecherries are a completely different species: Prunus virginiana.

The aronia berry shrub is very versatile when it comes to growing conditions. It tolerates boggy, sandy, and clay-rich soil. As late spring arrives, usually in May, you’ll see the white flowers blossom. The berries ripen over the summer and they’re ready to pick in late summer to early fall.

Potawatomi Native Americans in the Great Lakes region would use these dark berries for cold symptoms. They made tea from the dried berries as an immune-boosting tonic. They’d also use them in pemmican, a storage food made of animal fat, dried meat, and sometimes dried berries.

Aronia berry is now cultivated on dedicated aronia farms. Iowa is currently the leader in aronia berry production in the United States. Poland is the leader worldwide, producing about 80% of all aronia berries sold globally.

How Do Aronia Berries Taste?

The common name gives it away! Chokeberries have an astringent, semi-sweet flavor that tastes a little like cranberries. The pucker power in aronia berries can leave the mouth feeling dry or irritated. For that reason, the juice is often combined with other berries, such as raspberries or blackberries. Aronia also serves well as a jam, jelly, or even wine!

What’s in Aronia Berry?

Aronia berries have a variety of beneficial constituents. But these may vary depending on whether the berries are fresh, dried, cooked, etc. Some of these nutrients include:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids (including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavanols).
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc

The exact nutritional value can vary based on how the berries were grown. The soil, climate, maturity, harvest methods, and storage can all impact the final nutrient content.

Health Benefits of Aronia Berries

Thanks to its antioxidant content, aronia berry may help several health conditions.

Providing Antioxidants

Aronia berry is considered a “super fruit” thanks to its powerful antioxidants. These compounds fight free radicals that damage cells and lead to chronic disease.

The anthocyanins in aronia berries are much higher than in similar blue-purple berries. So aronia wins out over blueberries, blackberries, acai, and elderberry.

A 2014 Korean study compared black chokeberry extract to blueberry extract. The chokeberry extract was higher in phenols, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidin antioxidants. Chokeberry also had more free-radical scavenging power than blueberry.

Anti-Cancer Activity

Aronia berries may also help protect against cancer. In an in vitro study the anthocyanins in aronia prevented healthy cells from mutating. Scientists have also researched using aronia with both colon cancer and breast cancer.

In a study of women with breast cancer, aronia extract reduced the harmful free radicals found in their blood samples. In another breast cancer cell study aronia worked directly on cancer cells. It protected them from becoming damaged and spreading.

So far, this research is limited to cell studies and animal studies. More research is needed to learn how it could help with human cancer. Aronia’s anthocyanins seem to be the active constituent in protecting normal cells from cancer.

Immune System Support

Vitamin C and other antioxidants make aronia berries an excellent immune system support. According to animal studies, aronia berry extract may also protect against the flu.

Aronia can also help the body fight against other bacteria and viruses. Cell studies show that aronia berry extract could break down biofilms. E. coli and Bacillus cereus bacteria use biofilms as fortresses to protect themselves. Breaking down the biofilm allows the immune system to get to the bacteria and eliminate them.

Nursing home residents received daily doses of aronia berry juice for immune-supporting effects. Those who drank their daily aronia juice had fewer urinary tract infections (UTIs) than those who didn’t.

Lowering Inflammation

Research shows aronia reduces inflammation by inhibiting certain cytokines. The free radical-fighting antioxidants in Aronia berry also contribute to lower inflammation. A European Journal of Nutrition study showed the extract inhibited inflammation in human heart cells.

While the research is preliminary, it’s encouraging. Aronia could help in overall inflammation as well as protect the heart.

Type 1 Diabetes

Animal studies are beginning to show benefits for aronia berry in diabetes. In a mouse model of type 1 diabetes aronia berry lowered high blood sugar levels and protected the pancreas from damage.

Cardiovascular Disease

Aronia berries may also protect against heart disease and support the cardiovascular system:

  • Normalizing blood pressure – Animal studies show potential for aronia in addressing high blood pressure. A study of 25 people with metabolic syndrome confirmed that aronia berry extract three times a day helped lower blood pressure.
  • Balancing cholesterol – In another study of metabolic syndrome, 300 mg of aronia extract daily decreased LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. A small 2017 study also showed aronia helped lower LDL and total cholesterol over 12 weeks.
  • Lowering inflammation – Lowering overall inflammation is also crucial for a healthy cardiovascular system.

Who Shouldn’t Use Aronia Berry

Aronia berries are well-tolerated by most people. Studies show they’re safe to eat and there weren’t any side effects in research spanning two months. But, like any food, it’s possible to be allergic to them.

Because they’re sour and astringent, they may be unpleasant to eat on their own. I recommend adding them to foods and drinks, as listed below.

How to Use Aronia Berry

If you live in wooded areas of North America, you may be able to pick fresh aronia berries yourself. Otherwise, aronia is available in many forms at health food stores and online. You can find aronia berry juice, dried berries, tea, jams & jellies, syrups, and wine. I have aronia berry recipes you can try here.

Aronia Berry Juice

Aronia juice may be watered down or blended with other juices to make it tastier. It blends well with pineapple, apple, or other berry juices.

Aronia Fruit Tea

You can also steep the dried berries in hot water to make tea. You may want to sweeten it with raw honey or your favorite sweetener.

Jams & Jellies

Sweetened aronia berries work well as jams or jellies. You can make it healthier by choosing monk fruit or another natural sweetener. Aronia jam can sub for lingonberries in a Swedish meatball recipe or as a side dish. (There’s one in my cookbook).

Aronia Syrup

You can make your own aronia berry syrup to have on hand for cold symptoms. Take it like you would elderberry syrup. You can also replace some of the elderberries in my elderberry syrup recipe with aronia.

Smoothie Boost

Enhance smoothies by adding aronia extract, juice, or powder, before blending. Here are a few ideas:

Or make up your own! It would also be excellent blended into a pineapple smoothie. Maybe try it pina colada style!


You can easily incorporate aronia berries into healthy baking. Just add to your favorite muffin or coffee cake recipe as you would cranberries. You can also blend them into an apple, rhubarb, or berry pie.

Aronia/Chokeberry Wine

Aronia berries also make an excellent wine – similar to cranberry wine. It’s also sometimes made into liqueurs and schnapps.

Aronia Supplements

Supplement-wise, you can find aronia in powders, extracts, and capsules. That makes it easy to incorporate aronia into your daily routine. Aronia just might be the antioxidant powerhouse you were looking for!

Bottom Line on Aronia Berry and Where to Get It

These astringent super berries may make you pucker. But their rich nutritional profile makes them worth it. Find ways to sneak them into your favorite drinks or condiments, and you’ll reap many benefits. Here’s where to get them:

Have you tried aronia berry before? What’s your favorite way to use it? Share with us below!

  1. Hwang, E-S. & Lee, You Ji. (2020). Effects of different cultivated regions on bioactive compound content and antioxidant activity of aronia (Aronia melanocarpa). Korean Journal of Food Preservation, 27(4), 457-467.
  2. USDA FoodData Central. Microdried aronia berries.
  3. Jurikova, T., et al. (2017). Fruits of black chokeberry aronia melanocarpa in the prevention of chronic diseases. Molecules. 22(6), 944. 
  4. Jurendi?, T., & Š?etar, M. (2021). Aronia melanocarpa Products and By-Products for Health and Nutrition: A Review. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(7), 1052.
  5. Hwang, S. J., et al. (2014). Radical-scavenging-linked antioxidant activities of extracts from black chokeberry and blueberry cultivated in Korea. Food chemistry, 146, 71–77. 
  6. Gasiorowski, K., et al. (1997). Antimutagenic activity of anthocyanins isolated from Aronia melanocarpa fruits. Cancer letters, 119(1), 37–46. 
  7. Kedzierska, M., et al. (2009). An extract from berries of Aronia melanocarpa modulates the generation of superoxide anion radicals in blood platelets from breast cancer patients. Planta medica, 75(13), 1405–1409. 
  8. Choi, H. S., et al. (2018). Triterpene Acid (3Op-Coumaroyltormentic Acid) Isolated From Aronia Extracts Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cell Formation through Downregulation of c-Myc Protein. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(9), 2528.
  9. Zhao, C., et al. (2004). Effects of commercial anthocyanin-rich extracts on colonic cancer and nontumorigenic colonic cell growth. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 52(20), 6122–6128. 
  10. Ho, G. T., et al. (2014). Immunomodulating activity of Aronia melanocarpa polyphenols. International journal of molecular sciences, 15(7), 11626–11636.
  11. Bräunlich, M., et al. (2013). Effects of Aronia melanocarpa constituents on biofilm formation of Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 18(12), 14989–14999. 
  12. Handeland, M., et al. (2014). Black chokeberry juice (Aronia melanocarpa) reduces incidences of urinary tract infection among nursing home residents in the long term–a pilot study. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 34(6), 518–525. 
  13. Park, S., et al. (2013). Aronia melanocarpa and its components demonstrate antiviral activity against influenza viruses. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 440(1), 14–19.
  14. Appel, K., et al. (2015). Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliot) concentrate inhibits NF-?B and synergizes with selenium to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in macrophages. Fitoterapia, 105, 73–82. 
  15. Zapolska-Downar, D., et al. (2012). Aronia melanocarpa fruit extract exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in human aortic endothelial cells. European journal of nutrition, 51(5), 563–572. 
  16. Jeon, Y. D., et al. (2018). The Effect of Aronia Berry on Type 1 Diabetes In Vivo and In Vitro. Journal of medicinal food, 21(3), 244–253. 
  17. Ciocoiu, M., et al. (2013). The involvement of a polyphenol-rich extract of black chokeberry in oxidative stress on experimental arterial hypertension. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 912769.
  18. Broncel, M., et al. (2010). Aronia melanocarpa extract reduces blood pressure, serum endothelin, lipid, and oxidative stress marker levels in patients with metabolic syndrome. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, 16(1), CR28–CR34.
  19. Sikora, J., et al. (2012). Short-term supplementation with Aronia melanocarpa extract improves platelet aggregation, clotting, and fibrinolysis in patients with metabolic syndrome. European journal of nutrition, 51(5), 549–556.
  20. Xie, L., et al. (2017). Aronia berry polyphenol consumption reduces plasma total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in former smokers without lowering biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 37, 67–77. 
  21. Valcheva-Kuzmanova, S. V., & Belcheva, A. (2006). Current knowledge of Aronia melanocarpa as a medicinal plant. Folia medica, 48(2), 11–17.
  22. Sikora, J., et al. (2012). Short-term supplementation with Aronia melanocarpa extract improves platelet aggregation, clotting, and fibrinolysis in patients with metabolic syndrome. European journal of nutrition, 51(5), 549–556. 
  23. Kokotkiewicz, A., et al. (2010). Aronia plants: a review of traditional use, biological activities, and perspectives for modern medicine. Journal of medicinal food, 13(2), 255–269.
  24. Zapolska-Downar, D., et al. (2012). Aronia melanocarpa fruit extract exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in human aortic endothelial cells. European journal of nutrition, 51(5), 563–572.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


4 responses to “Aronia Berry Benefits (and How to Use Them)”

  1. Ben Frost Avatar
    Ben Frost

    I know a lady that grows these and gives them away. I mix a handful of berries with some banana each morning.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Either will work, it just depends on what you’re using it for. Powder degrades faster, but if it’s fresh you’ll have a wider spectrum of nutrients.

  2. Allie Avatar

    My friend has an organic u-pick aronia berry farm. Since I started eating them daily, I feel much better. I also make a syrup for times when I have a sore throat or cold. Mostly, I ate them from the freezer or in a smoothie.

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