Have you heard about the benefits of saskatoon berries? Known scientifically as Amelanchier alnifolia, these berries are blasting into media consciousness worldwide for excellent reasons!
They’re easy to grow in your own square foot garden and since they have more antioxidant power and those fantastic anthocyanins than the blueberry or acai (yes…they’ve got more going on than the media darlings) you really might want to give saskatoon-growing a chance!
Native to the United States and Canada at higher elevations with cool climates, it’s a common bush with white flowers and purple berries that can grow more than 20 feet tall! Depending on location, the berries ripen throughout the summer.
The native tribes of Canada have consumed these berries for hundreds of years. Similar in taste to blueberries, saskatoons have a bit of tartness to them much like a sour cherry. Dishes that call for blueberries or blackberries (including preserves and desserts) are a good fit for saskatoons.
The Nutrients and Phytochemical Benefits of Saskatoon Berries
The ability of saskatoons to scavenge free radicals is higher than that of any other known berry. One study from the Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas identified five anthocyanins, two flavonoids, and three powerful chlorogenic acids that all work to lower free radical activity in the human body.
Understanding full saskatoon berry benefits is in the early stages but scientists have already determined that they meet and exceed the well-researched properties of other members of the berry family. Other than the delicious flavor and versatility, berries are universally known to improve total body health.
More good news is that berries that are frozen contain the same benefits as fresh! That means you can enjoy them year-round!
- Lower chronic inflammation that leads to arthritis, autoimmune disease, and dementia
- Help protect against heart disease and regulate cholesterol
- Aid in weight loss or weight control because of the water and fiber they contain
- Feed the body high levels of nutrients without heavy caloric intake
- Fight cell damage and mutation that leads to rapid aging and serious diseases like cancer
- Improve mental clarity, memory, and protect against cognitive decline
- Protect against development of Parkinson’s disease by up to 40%
- Are excellent for diabetics due to the fiber that balances the sweetness
- Possess a low-glycemic index for sweet fruit
- Contain proven anti-cancer compounds
- Improve metabolism and regulate insulin levels in the blood
- Prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Improve muscle health at the molecular level to aid in post-exercise recovery
A Newcomer to the Health Marketplace
Saskatoon berries are still “new” to the modern world but the initial results have made them a nutrient rich food to watch. Health food manufacturers see these purple berries as potentially stronger in the marketplace than cranberries and blueberries.
It might take several more years for the benefits of saskatoon berries to trickle down to the local market but there’s no doubt that they have incredible disease-fighting potential.
If you can get them, try using them like you do other berries.
The moment my local health food market gets these organic berries of goodness in stock again, I’ll be making a saskatoon chutney to use on my rare homemade (and lower carb) pancake breakfast.
I’ve already used them in my morning shake and they provided an undertone that was almost like a sweet tart candy from when I was a kid. Not unpleasant, still delicious, and I felt as wonderful as I do when I incorporate new ingredients to my diet.
Organic fruits and vegetables, in all different colors and types, are the key to keeping your body strong.Click To Tweet I think you’re going to hear a lot more about saskatoon berry benefits in the coming years. I’m excited to see where they start popping up!
Until you’re able to get these “newbies” in your local market, keep incorporating other members of the magnificent berry family. You deserve it, they’re delicious, and your body will thank you!