Category Archives: Health

Flavonoids in Crowberry, Empetrum nigrum

This is an interesting article on the value of crowberries in the diet. Lots of people harvest this fruit although many people consider it tasteless, nothing more than a thirst quencher if you are out hiking in the woods. They are tiny, and you have your work cut out for you to harvest enough to do anything with, but they are good.

Empetrum nigrum

Black Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum L.) Flavonoids and Their Health Promoting ActivityTunde Jurikova 1, *, Jiri Mlcek 2 , Sona Skrovankova 2 , Stefan Balla 1 , Jiri Sochor 3 , Mojmir Baron 3 and Daniela Sumczynski 2 1 Institute for Teacher Training, Faculty of Central European Studies, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Drazovska 4, SK-949 74 Nitra, Slovakia; sballa@ukf.sk 2 Department of Food Analysis and Chemistry, Faculty of Technology, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, nam. T. G. Masaryka 5555, CZ-760 01 Zlin, Czech Republic; mlcek@ft.utb.cz (J.M.); skrovankova@ft.utb.cz (S.S.); sumczynski@ft.utb.cz (D.S.) 3 Department of Viticulture and Enology, Faculty of Horticulture, Mendel University in Brno, Valticka 337, CZ-691 44 Lednice, Czech Republic; sochor.jirik@seznam.cz (J.S.); MojmirBaron@seznam.cz (M.B.)  Published: 7 December 2016

Abstract: Nowadays, much research attention is focused on underutilized berry crops due to the high antioxidant activity of fruits. Black crowberry (Empetrum nigrum L.) represents an important source of flavonols (quercetin, rutin, myricetin, naringenin, naringin, morin, and kaempferol) and anthocyanins. The fruit components could be utilised as natural colourants or as a part of functional foods and, because of the high antioxidant activity, the berries of black crowberry can be used in the treatment of diseases accompanied with inflammation, or as an effective antibacterial and antifungal remedy. Moreover, the reduction of lipid accumulation and total cholesterol as well as an improvement of postprandial hyperglycaemia have been proven. This review summarizes for the first time the main antioxidants (flavonoids) of black crowberry fruits, with a focus on their health promoting activity.

Bog Blueberries for Health

“Bog Blueberry anthocyanins alleviate photo-aging in UV B irradiation-induced human dermal fibroblasts.”

The fruits of the bog blueberry plant are rich in anthocyanins that contribute pigmentation and the relief/prevention of several chronic diseases. Several studies show bog blueberries remarkably suppress collagen degradation as well as inflammatory response in the skin cells which allow for connective tissue and healing/recovery after injury. The edible berry shows proof it can be protective against skin damage!
Bae, J.-Y., Choi, J.-S., Han, S.J., Ju, S.M., Kang, I.-J., Kang, Y.-H., Kim, S.J., Lim, S.S., Park, J. 2009. “Bog Blueberry Anthocyanins Alleviate Photo-Aging in Ultra-Violet B Irradiation-Induced Human Dermal Fibroblasts.” Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 53(6): 726-738.

Salmonberry uses

Salmon berry plants bark and leaves can be cooked down for tea to treat diarrhea or dysntery. The branches are also used  Pena,D. Salmonberry: Food, Medicine, Culture – Part 1. Available online: Salmonberries.  Accessed 19 Oct, 2016.

Fun facts about strawberries

Strawberry fun facts. The link above takes you to a fun fact about strawberries site that gives you instructions on how to pick strawberries and just fun facts about berries. One of my favorite facts that I read was, “Processing, such as cooking and freezing berries do not affect the phytochemical properties that they contain! This means that value-added products, such as our nectars, ciders, & jams etc… are still high in the healthy stuff!!!” (Fun Facts About Strawberries, Laura, Southern Grace Farms). Often times you find that a certain way of cooking foods can cause them to loose their nutritional value. For example, with vegtables, I don’t like to steam them because all the nutrients falls into the juice at the bottom of the pot. Another thing I thought was cool about the site was that it included how to say the word “strawberry” in a few different languages.AK Fairbanks

Berries in Alaska

This article in the ADN is about the antioxidant content of berries, good picking locations in Alaska and some of the things you can do with them once you find them. One recipe i personally would like to try is the Nagoonberry Syrup! Burke, Jill. 2012. Alaska wild berries: Tips on how to find and prepare them. Accessed online: Berries  Accessed on 12 Oct 2016.

My Plate My State

Check out this site and an attempt by USDA to encourage local and healthy food choices. It’s a nice concept, but check out the list they include of the common foods produced in Alaska.

  • barley, beef, bison, bread, chicken, crabs, eggs, Herring, milk, oats, pollock, pork, potatoes, reindeer, salmon, scallops, sea urchins, shrimp

My list certainly is longer than that! The only vegetable they include is the potato! Sheesh!

My plate

Alaska Wild Berry Resources

Alaskan Wild Berry Resources and Human Health Under the Cloud of Climate Change
Wild berries are an integral part of Alaskan diet. They are a rich source in polyphenolic metabolites that can aid metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. Here, a study of five common Alaskan wild berries are screened for bioactivity -the effect on participants. And the effect of different seasons/fluctuations on berry abundance and quality is provided.

Selected extracts reduced glucose levels and other insight allows for the monitoring of these berries as the climate changes throughout the region.
Flint, Courtney. Gonzalez De Mejia, Elvira. Kellogg, Joshua. Kuhn, Peter. Lila, Mary Ann. Raskin, Ilya. Ribnicky, David. Wang, Jinzhi. 2010. “Alaskan Wild Berry Resources and Human Health Under the Cloud of Climate Change.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58(7): 3884-3900.