April 4, 2014

Lingonberries May Prevent Obesity and Diabetes

Lingonberries-for-weight-loss

Image by mamashealth.com

If you’ve been looking for all-natural dietary solutions for weight loss lately, you’ve probably heard a good deal about lingonberries. Lingonberries may be the latest and greatest “superberry” to join the list – hailing primarily from Scandinavia and North America, the lingonberry has been proving itself a contender in the superfood arena through study after study.

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What Are Lingonberries?

Lingonberries are the fruit of a short evergreen shrub native to large portions of the Northern Hemisphere. Though it is often claimed that lingonberry originates from Sweden, the truth is that it can be found growing in much of North America just as eagerly. The berry is a very popular component in many Scandinavian and North European dishes and is often made into sauces and jams.

Home-made-Lingonberries-compote

Image by robinulrich.blogspot.ca

Recent studies of lingonberry's nutritional properties have led to its rise in popularity as a health food. Research strongly suggests that lingonberries may be more effective at encouraging weight loss than most already established superberries – when compared to others such as raspberries, blackcurrants and açai berries, lingonberries are topping the charts. The berry has been shown to reduce cholesterol, help to maintain low blood sugar and to regulate insulin levels as effectively as a low-fat diet.

The study at the heart of these results was performed on several groups of rats deemed to be similar to obese humans in their tendency to easily absorb and store fat. Each group was fed a different variety of superberry with the exception of a high-fat and low-fat group for comparison – after three months, the lingonberry group had gained no more weight than the low-fat group and maintained similar blood sugar and insulin levels. To top it off, the mice that had been fed lingonberries showed noticeably lower cholesterol and liver-fat levels than the high-fat control group. Why do lingonberries have such positive effects on weight loss? The theory is that their high polyphenol content and nutritional values are the culprit. Lingonberries as rich in numerous antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins, as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous – an enviable nutritional cocktail.

Lingonberry

Image by kidsthesedays.org

This research was carried out by researchers at Lund University's research and innovation centre called Antidiabetic Food Centre. It's main purpose is to prevent diabetes with food. Full study can be read at:
Evaluation of Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Berries in High-Fat Fed C57BL/6J Mice

Where Can I Get Lingonberries?

With so many benefits, how can you resist rushing out to buy your own lingonberry foods right away? Lingonberries can be purchased in a variety of forms and are very accessible in much of North America, the Scandinavian nations and Europe. They can be bought frozen or fresh from many plant nurseries and specialty farms, or as various food products from import markets and organic foods retailers.

Ripe-Lingonberry-on-shrub

Image by wikipedia.org

Lingonberry plants can be purchased from many plant nurseries and some lingonberry growers sell seeds online – lingonberry can be grown in a home garden and is fairly easy to maintain, preferring high-acidity, well-drained soil rich in organic matter but not fertilization or nurturance. Lingonberries thrive well in the same conditions as blueberries and will produce berries late in the Summer and again in the Fall.

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