7 Reasons You Need to Start Eating
Lingonberries

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August 30, 2016

By Ariadne Weinberg, Featured Columnist










Chances are, unless you're from Scandinavia, you might not
know what lingonberries are. Or at least you might need a
little refresher. They aren't the most common of berries, but
growing research shows that they are one of the most
healthy by far.

The lingonberry, also called "Vaccinium Vitis Idaea", or
“cowberry”, is a semi-sour little fruit, which falls into the
same category as blueberries and cranberries.

Lingonberries can be found in the Northern Hemisphere:
Scandinavia, The Northern U.S., Greenland, and Canada. If
you are in the states, the Pacific Northwest (Washington and
Oregon) is the best place to find them. If you're not in one
of those regions, sometimes IKEA stocks them or you can
order them online.


Now that you know where you can get them, you probably
want to know why you should get them. Well, we'll go into
the details of that later, but one great thing about
lingonberries that covers many health benefits is that they're
chock-o-block full of polyphenols.

This antioxidant and flavonoid is what gives lingonberries
and other berries their bright colors; in the case of
lingonberry a brilliant ruby red.

Here is a shocker. Lingonberries contain more polyphenol
flavonoids than any other type of berry, which pretty much
boosts your entire system and protects you from disease.


So, have I convinced you to try them yet? If so, know that
you can eat them like you would any other berry: put them
in cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or juice them.

Lingonberry's flavor might not be apt for everyone, as it has
a distinctly tart taste, but if that's not your style, you can add
a little bit of honey. Doctors recommend 1-2 tablespoons
daily to reap the benefits. What benefits? So glad you asked.






























1.      
Lingonberry Prevents Urinary Tract Infections



Hopefully, if you're good to yourself, this is something that
will happen seldom or never. However, especially for
sexually active women, it's unfortunately pretty common.

Luckily, there is a delicious way to treat it. Lingonberries
and other berries with type A proanthocyanidins play an
important role.

In 2014, E. Davidson and researchers from the Hadassah
Hebrew University Hospital in Jerusalem discovered that with
both juice and proprietary extracts of lingonberry as well as
European cranberry and American cranberry, there was a
dose-dependent trend of clinical effectiveness for urinary
tract infections, but with a possible ceiling effect.

If you are feeling the signs of a coming infection or are
already in the thick of one, pick up some lingonberry jam or
juice and enjoy.


       

2.
Lingonberry Has Anti-inflammatory Properties


In folk medicine, lingonberries are used for treating pain and
arthritis.

While more official studies are needed to back this up, S.
Hakkinen from Kuopio University confirmed that they
definitely do have anti-inflammatory elements, including high
amounts of quercetin, a superhero flavonoid. Hakkinen's
2000 study also revealed that when 22 different berries
were assessed, lingonberries were second in quercetin
content only to whortleberries. And really, with a name like
that, who can compete for anything?


3.
Lingonberry Fights Cancer


Science says chow down on the berries. They make a pretty
excellent dessert plain or with a little cream on top.

G.J. McDougall from the Scottish Crop Research Institute in
Dundee did an experiment with various berries to see what
effect they would have on cancer cells.

In 2008, he and researchers screened polyphenol-rich
berries on microtiter plates, testing their effectiveness on
eliminating human cancer cells.

Lingonberries were some of the best cancer fighters, along
with Rowan berries, raspberries, cloudberries, arctic
bramble, and strawberries, which generally had 25-40
micrograms/Ml of phenols.

All of these berry extracts were proved to fight against both
cervical and colon cancer cells, and were generally more
sensitive at low concentrations and less sensitive at high
concentrations.

Researchers posited that the anti-proliferative effect of
lingonberries was probably caused by procyanidins. (Read
more about
foods that fight cancer.)


4.
Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes with Lingonberries


Lingonberries kick a high-fat diet's butt.

In 2014, Louisa Heyman and researchers from Lund
University in Sweden discovered just how potent they were,
when they gave mice high or low-fat diets, then fed them
several different kinds of berries.

After three months, those with a high-fat diet who
combined it with lingonberry were equivalent to those with a
low-fat diet, probably due to the high polyphenol levels in
their system.

Mice given the lingonberry diet also had lower insulin and
blood sugar levels than other groups.

Researchers happily concluded that the super berry's power
was two-fold: It has the potential to treat diabetes as well as
control weight gain and obesity.


5.
Protect Your Blood Vessels with Lingonberries


Like most things in or on your body, you don't want it to
break.

However, with blood vessels, you don't even want them to
be strained.

The force of blood pressure against the walls of blood
vessels damage the lining.

This in turn makes it possible for plaques to accumulate,
which could lead to a
heart attack or stroke.

Munching on these berries can keep your heart safe.
According to a 2011 study by Anne Kivimaki from the
Institute of Biomedicine, lingonberry can help protect
endothelial lining of blood vessels in lab animals with high
blood pressure.

With humans, it's more than extremely likely to function the
same way. So when you sip on that lingonberry smoothie,
your heart will thank you.


6.
Promote Oral Health with Lingonberries


The chronic infection and inflammation of gums, also called
periodontal disease, is usually caused by bacterial
overgrowth.

Not only is periodontal disease dangerous alone; it can also
lead to diabetes, pre-term deliveries, low birth weight, and
cardiovascular issues.

According to a 2001 report in the journal of Pharmacy and
Pharmacology, lingonberry could be a possible solution.

The tannin present in our pal the cowberry has antimicrobial
activity against porphyromonas gingivalis and prevotella
intermedia, two bacterias that have to do with the
pathogenesis of periodontal disease. So, before you brush
your teeth in the morning, have a lingonberry breakfast.
(Read more about
how to kill bacteria between your teeth.)


7.
Even Out Your Skin Tone with Lingonberries


Dr. Oz, professor and vice chair of surgery at Columbia
University, talks about how common bearberry is a cure for
both age spots and hyperpigmentation, due to the
phytochemical arbutin.

It works by inactivating tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible
for skin pigmentation.

It turns out that lingonberries also have that same magical
phytochemical.

There are not many products available yet, but keep an eye
out for them, and in the meanwhile, see if you can find
bearberry. Or, if you are involved in a cosmetics company,
get on the lingonberry bandwagon and make them more
mainstream.

Lingonberries are a beautiful beauty solution; a way to keep
you vital inside and out.


Possible Side Effects

Lingonberries are great, but be careful for the leaves. When
taken long-term, they could have side effects such as nausea
and vomiting. You should avoid lingonberry in general if
pregnant. And consume in moderation, because large
quantities could be tough on your
liver. Otherwise, enjoy
this colorful, versatile berry.  










































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Lingonberries have more anti-oxidant
polyphenols than any other bery
.