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Health Benefits of Lingonberries | What are Lingonberries

Health Benefits of Lingonberries | What are Lingonberries

Health Benefits of Lingonberries | What are Lingonberries

Vaccinium vitis-idaea (bearberry, redberry, foxberry, cowberry, and Alaskan lowbush cranberry, lingonberry, partridgeberry or cowberry) is a short evergreen shrub in the heath family that bears edible fruit, native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America.

Lingonberries are picked in the wild and used to accompany a variety of dishes in Northern Baltoscandia and Russia. Commercial cultivation is undertaken in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and in many other regions of the world.

Lingonberries have been called a superfruit based on their nutritional value and potential health benefits, such as for weight control and heart health.  The leaves and berries are used to make medicine.

Below are some health benefits of Lingonberries;

Urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Research suggests that drinking 50 mL of a beverage that contains cranberry and lingonberry daily for 6 months can reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs in women and the number of UTIs in girls 3-12 years-old.

Lingonberries Help Keep Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Test-tube and animal studies suggest that lingonberries and lingonberry extract may help control blood sugar — which may be partly due to their polyphenol and fiber content (22, 23, 24, 25).

A study which had healthy men eat sweetened yogurt with 1/3 cup (40 grams) of lingonberry powder, their blood sugar and insulin levels were the same as when they ate yogurt without lingonberry powder — despite the additional carbs from the fruit.

Similarly, when healthy women ate 2/3 cup (150 grams) of pureed lingonberries with about 3 tablespoons (35 grams) of sugar, their peak insulin after eating was 17% lower compared to a control group who ate the sugar without lingonberries.

Managing insulin levels and minimizing insulin spikes can help preserve your body’s responsiveness to insulin, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Lingonberries Are Powerful Antioxidants

Before looking at any specific health benefits, it is important to note that the lingonberry like its better-known cousins the cranberry and the blueberry is jam packed with powerful antioxidants. A chemical compound known as a flavonoid is a type of polyphenol which gives berries their brilliant rich colors.

The health benefits of flavonoids are well known and researchers have found that lingonberries contain more flavonoids than any other berry. It is vital that we get as many antioxidants into our diets as possible; they help protect the body from cellular damage which occurs as a result of our exposure to destructive free radicals.

It is often claimed that a food or herb has antioxidant abilities but in this case, there is no doubt. Several studies have conclusively demonstrated that lingonberries are packed with antioxidant polyphenols. Moreover, a recent comparative study published in 2014 found that lingonberries had the highest radical scavenging activity of all berries tested.

Lingonberries Are Good For Weight Loss

According to very recent research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, lingonberries are significantly better than any other type of berries when it comes to countering the adverse effects of high fat diets. Researchers gave mice either a low or high fat diet and also fed them with several types of berry.

Following 3 months of experimentation, the mice given the high fat combined with lingonberry diet had a weight gain equivalent to those fed a low fat diet. Researchers believe this impressive fat fighting mechanism owes much to the very high polyphenol levels found in the fruit.

Moreover the mice given the lingonberry diet had lower insulin and blood sugar levels than the other groups.

Lingonberries Improve Immune System

With a decent amount of vitamin C, these berries are able to stimulate the production of white blood cells and protect the body against various infections and pathogens.

Brain health: 

Rodent studies suggest that lingonberries or their extract may improve brain function, includingmemory when under stress. Test-tube analyses imply that the berries’ antioxidants protect brain cells.

Antiviral: 

In a test-tube study, lingonberry extract — particularly anthocyanins — stopped the replication of influenza virus A and inhibited coxsackievirus B1, which is linked to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes.

Oral health: 

According to test-tube studies, lingonberries contain plant compounds that may fend off bacteria that promote gum disease and plaque accumulation on teeth.

Kidney protection: 

Feeding rats 1 ml of lingonberry juice daily for three weeks prior to kidney injury protected them from loss of kidney function. The juice’s anthocyanins reduced damaging kidney inflammation.

Food preservation:

Lingonberry concentrate added to a reduced-sugar fruit spread helped inhibit mold growth. Additionally, a lingonberry extract strongly deterred the growth of bacteria that commonly cause food poisoning.

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