The lingonberry plant is a short evergreen shrub that bears edible fruit and is native to the arctic and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The lingonberry fruit, also known as cowberries and alpine cranberries, are little semi-sour fruit that are in the same family as the cranberry and blueberry. Lingonberries are normally picked in the wild, though commercial cultivation is undertaken in the United States. While other berries such as blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries are more popular and well-known, lingonberries are gaining massive popularity in the world due to their health benefits.
Lingonberries are considered a super berry and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are used in so many foods such as jams, juices, and shakes in Scandinavian countries, and as a spice in meat dishes. They have a somewhat bitter and sour taste and are best taken as part of sweetened foods.
Nutritional facts of lingonberries
Lingonberries contain varying amounts of essential vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. A 100g serving of the berries will provide your body with 53 calories, 1.2g fat content, and 11.5g of carbohydrates. Lingonberries also contain dietary fiber, vitamin C, and small amounts of vitamin B.
Benefits of lingonberries to the body
Just like other berries such as blueberries and cranberries, the lingonberry is packed with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the body from any cellular damage which is caused by free radicals in the body. They also protect us from some diseases and delay the inevitable signs of aging such as wrinkles. In addition to fortifying the body with antioxidants, lingonberries help restore the depleted antioxidants in the body such as glutathione, referred to as the master antioxidant due to its role in fighting off a large number of diseases.
Flavonoids, which give berries their brilliant and rich colors, are present in lingonberries more than in any other berry. These flavonoids are famous for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to the body.
Fighting bacterial infections
Lingonberries have bacteria-fighting capabilities due to their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, phenolic and antioxidant characteristics. They are filled with hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acids which all help prevent bacterial infections.
Treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections
A study done by the University of Oulu in Finland showed that there was a reduction in the risk of getting a UTI among women who consumed lingonberries as compared to those who don’t. This is attributed to the presence of A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) in large amounts in lingonberries. These PACs inhibit the adhesion of Escherichia coli to the urinary tract wall. Escherichia coli is the main UTI-causing bacterium.
Like many other berries, lingonberries are known to increase the levels of good cholesterol in the body and improve blood pressure, thereby improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of any cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.
The tannins found in lingonberries help boost the blood vessel walls while resolving mineral metabolism and neutralizing toxins to improve digestion and tone up the body. They are a good solution for anyone suffering from indigestion.
Promoting oral health
Periodontal disease is caused by chronic infection and inflammation of the gums. While it is a dangerous disease on its own, it can also lead to the development of other diseases such as cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Lingonberries have a strong antimicrobial activity against Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia, the bacteria that are implicated in the development of periodontal disease. Their anti-inflammatory abilities also fight the bacteria that causes gum disease.
The procyanidins in lingonberries are important is protecting our bodies against some types of cancers such as leukemia, cervical and colonic cancer. In addition to the procyanidins, the antioxidants in lingonberries help prevent cancer by neutralizing any free radicals, which may cause inflammation of the cells and ultimately cancer.
The leaves of the lingonberry plant contain high amounts of arbutin which is known to remedy hyperpigmentation and age spots. Arbutin is a phytochemical that inactivates tyrosinase, the enzyme that is responsible for skin pigmentation.
Importance of lingonberries for athletes
Lingonberries are often used as an ingredient in sports drinks. This is important to those who drink the sports drinks, especially athletes, due to the many health benefits to the body. As an antioxidant, the lingonberry fights off diseases and bacterial infection, thereby improving the health of a sportsperson and keeping their bodies in shape. This, in turn, improves their performance since they are physically fit.
Some of the essential nutrients in lingonberries such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium are important for bone formation and bone and blood health.
Flow Drinks contain lingonberries to support your performance when you most need it, in a most healthy and natural way.
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Forms of lingonberries
Lingonberries can be consumed raw, or in foods such as shakes and smoothies. They are commonly used in making jams, wines, ice-cream, and can also make pies. Lingonberry extract is used in sports drinks due to its health benefits to the body, and can also be taken as a supplement.
Recommended lingonberry dosage
According to physicians, raw lingonberries can be taken in any amount since they are not harmful, though as supplements the recommended dosage is given by the doctor who prescribes them.
Side effects of lingonberries
There are no known severe side effects of lingonberries, though some people may be allergic to the berry. Their antigonadotrophic properties may not be helpful to men who are trying to get a child. Such people should take lingonberries in moderation.