Lingonberry (Vaccinium Vitis-idaea) is a super nutritious fruit packed with antioxidants that fight against inflammation and diseases.
Lingonberries help the body to replace important antioxidants, like glutathione – a master antioxidant in our body. They are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium and flavonoids, type of polyphenol antioxidants, that also gives lingonberries their bright, vibrant colours.
Lingonberries are also a great source of fibre, minerals and other healthy trace elements.
Lingonberries are the new superfood and increasingly popular in fat-busting diets. Along with weight control, regular consumption of lingonberries can help you treat urinary tract infections, balance blood sugar levels, keep your oral/mouth healthy and even prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Lingonberries are rich in powerful antioxidants, just like its cousin’s blueberry and cranberry. They are also rich in flavonoids, type of polyphenol antioxidants, that also gives lingonberries their bright, vibrant colours. One of these is resveratrol, a stilbenoid, which may prevent heart and vascular diseases and diabetes. Numerous studies have found that Lingonberries contain higher amounts of flavonoids than any other berry. It is important to take as many antioxidants as possible; they help in protecting the body against cell damage, which occurs as result of exposure to unstable free radicals. Free radicals are by-products of oxidative stress in the body. Antioxidants also shield the body from premature ageing. Regular intake of lingonberries restores depleted antioxidants like glutathione; a ‘master antioxidant’ that is useful for various infections and illnesses. (1, 2, 3)
Lingonberries have been used traditionally to reduce inflammation and ease the pain of among the patients who have arthritis. Scientists agree that inflammation is the cause of major diseases such as cancer, coronary diseases, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative illnesses. The lingonberries antioxidant property helps to decrease inflammation throughout the body. Recent research published in the year 2014 comparing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of different types of berries concluded that lingonberries caused a considerable reduction of MCP1, a toxic inflammatory compound. (4)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Lingonberries are one of the few leading sources of natural A-type proanthocyanidins; a plant phytochemical believed to prevent Escherichia coli from attaching itself inner surface of the urinary tract, therefore preventing urinary tract infections. Research published in 2001 demonstrated that regularly drinking of cranberry and lingonberry juice can lessen an occurrence of urinary tract infections. (5)
Weight loss and diabetes
According to recent studies, lingonberries are found to prevent weight gain and lower fasting insulin levels.
During one study, researchers gave mice either a low-fat diet, high-fat diet or high-fat diet supplemented with various types of berries. After three months of experimentation, the mice fed with high-fat diet together with lingonberries gained the less weight.
Researchers believed the extraordinary fat fighting mechanism is a result of high polyphenol levels found in the lingonberry. The other berries didn’t work as well. Moreover, the mice fed with lingonberry had lower fasting insulin levels than the other control groups – even the ones also in high-fat diet but without berries. The study demonstrates that lingonberry has potential to treat diabetes and aid in controlling weight gain and obesity. (6)
Periodontal diseases typically occur as a result of inflammation or chronic inflammation in the gums; these infections cause weakening of the gums, intense pain and discomfort. If left untreated, oral infections may lead to more dangerous diseases.
Bacterial overgrowth is the leading cause of most of the oral diseases, which can be prevented by taking diets high in anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties but low in sugars.
We have already described anti-inflammatory effects of lingonberries, but the berries may help to improve oral health in other ways. Research published in 2001 found that tannins in lingonberries could lower antimicrobial action of the bacteria responsible for mouth and gum disease.
Procyanidins contained in lingonberry can help to protect our bodies from various types of cancers including cervical, leukaemia and colon cancer.
It is not only the berries that provide health benefits, but also the leaves of lingonberry which contain concentrated amounts of arbutin, a chemical substance similar to uva-ursa used as a medication for hyperpigmentation and age spots.