Eating a lingonberry may not be a regular part of everyone’s fruit intake, but these unique berries are packed with nutrients and can provide a number of health benefits.
What is a Lingonberry?
A lingonberry is an edible fruit that grows on a small shrub native to Europe and North America, scientifically known as Vaccinium Vitis-idaea. Commonly known as a cowberry in some parts of the world, these small red berries have a slightly acidic taste, but they can be processed into a number of different jams, jellies, and other sweet products. These berries and their derivative foods are very popular in Europe, particularly in the Baltic and Scandinavian areas, but there is some international cultivation.
Medicinally speaking, these berries have been used for centuries, if not thousands of years. These berries can be made into various natural remedies, and are claimed to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, astringent, and antioxidant properties.
When it comes to the nutritional facts of these small berries, they contain just over 50 calories in a 100-gram serving, as well as a good amount of dietary fiber, a small amount of protein, and a high level of vitamin C. These berries are also very high in potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Further benefits come from the various phytonutrients, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins found in these berries.
The many health benefits of lingonberry include their ability to prevent UTI, protect the immune system, boost oral health, prevent certain types of cancer, and regulate blood pressure, among others.
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.
Phytonutrients abound in these tiny berries, which can help to cut down on oxidative stress and neutralize the free radicals produced by cellular respiration. This can lower your risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and coronary heart diseases.
These berries have particular antibacterial properties that can help to keep your mouth clear of dangerous infections. Things like gum disease and halitosis are caused by unwanted bacteria in the mouth, which lingonberries can eliminate.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Similar to cranberries, women can drink lingonberry juice to help prevent or treat urinary tract infections (UTI). If you commonly get these infections, adding this juice to your weekly diet is a good idea.
How to Add to Your Diet?
If you want to benefit from these nutrient-dense berries, there are a number of ways you can add them to your diet.
- Lingonberry jam: It is very popular, particularly on pancakes
- Lingonberry sauce: It is often used to give a sweet edge to savory meat dishes, such as pork.
- Lingonberry juice: These berries can be juiced, although the resulting beverage is often quite acidic and tart.
- Morning smoothie: Some people also like to blend up a few lingonberries in their morning smoothie
or you can simply eat them fresh, as long as you don’t mind the mouth-puckering taste!