For hundreds of years, the benefits of lingonberries have been used in medicinal applications. With a tart flavor and firm texture similar to cherries, they’re a versatile addition to your regular eating plan. They’re also excellent for your body!
Adding them to your morning shake adds a tangy and delicious undertone you’re going to love. I wouldn’t suggest the juice unless it doesn’t have added sugar and the jams and syrups usually have so much added sweets that it negates the healthy properties of the berry. The flavor of these products is so good for a little treat though!
You can get them in supplement form but food is always better than a pill. Your body breaks it down more effectively and is able to utilize more of the good stuff.
The Sweet Benefits of Lingonberries
Lingonberries are identified scientifically as Vaccinium vitis-idaea but are also referred to as cowberries in other parts of the world. Their origins are the wild forests of Scandinavia but they are rapidly making their way around the globe as studies verify their potency.
The primary part of the plant used in various products are the fruits themselves but the leaves are also showing promise in the treatment of pigmentation that leads to “age spots.” In the last few years, they’ve become widely known as another berry with excellent antioxidant content.
Powerful compounds found in lingonberries…
- Proanthocyanidin (PAC)
While many lingonberry benefits are currently being studied, the one that has the most impact on future medical applications is their ability to lower chronic inflammation and ease pain. Practitioners of folk medicine have always used these little berries for these specific purposes but (as we’ve seen time and time again) modern medicine takes time to catch up.
The abundance of quercetin is the primary reason this fruit is making the news. A Finland university confirmed that it has more of this compound than any other popular berry (even media darling blueberries) with exception to whortleberries, a rare bog fruit.
This flavonoid is what provides vibrant color to flowers, fruits, and vegetables all over the world. It has been named as a powerful antioxidant due to dozens of studies focused on its’ anti-inflammatory properties.
The ability of quercetin to counter the effects of oxidative stress is well documented by scientific studies. Though the current research has been small-scale, there is no way to deny the results.
Chronic inflammation is the root cause for many serious diseases and conditions. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndromes, neurodegenerative diseases, chronic pain, mood disorders, and so many more possess inflammation as a clear and present bio-marker.
Researchers now know that inflammation not only stimulates the development of disease, it significantly worsens diseases and conditions. The steady rise in autoimmune diseases is a testament to the true destruction caused by inflammation.
Inflammatory Autoimmune Diseases
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Celiac disease
- Graves’ disease
- Type 1 diabetes
Unstopped inflammation is often accompanied by pain that patients may have difficulty describing. Too much of this “heat” in your body leads to various reactions by your nerves, kicking a chain reaction in place that results in many symptoms. Chronic pain is one of the worst and is steadily becoming a primary reason for disability around the world.
- Nociceptive pain is when your body reacts to changes within the central nervous system that is felt in the head, neck, and spinal column.
- Somatic pain is felt in your bones, joints, muscles, and even on the skin, which is sharp and localized.
- Visceral pain is felt deep in your body at the level of your organs and is often described as an intense ache.
The anti-microbial and antibacterial benefits of lingonberries also make it an excellent choice for urinary tract infections (UTIs), oral infections, and viruses or bacteria that result in fever or cold symptoms. There is emerging evidence that the procyanidins in lingonberries possess anti-cancer properties as well but more research will need to be done to confirm initial data.
Breaking the Cycle of Inflammation
Everyone experiences acute inflammation as a temporary immune response to sickness or injury. It doesn’t cause long-term damage because in most cases, it lasts a few days.
Chronic inflammation will eventually damage your body through steady destruction (and death) of your cells. Diet, lifestyle, and environmental circumstances give this condition a chance to take root. If there is not real and focused change to your mental, emotional, and physical choices, chronic inflammation won’t fade away on its’ own. It will steadily worsen until irreparable damage happens to the healthy tissues in your body.
Lowering inflammation in your body is crucial to your continued good health. You can do it with gradual alterations to the stress levels around you, quitting smoking, getting more exercise, and adding more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.
Lingonberry benefits are one of the many options available to stop inflammation damage (and the pain it causes) right now. Take a look at a few of our many articles here on Daily Superfood Love about how to beat the heat naturally.
Health Benefits of Lingonberries (Cowberries). (n.d.). HealWithFood.org
Quercetin. (n.d.). University of Maryland Medical Center.
Inflammation: Chronic and Acute. (2015, September 16). Medical News Today.
Beil, L. (2014, March 26). The Enemy Inside You. Women’s Health.