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health benefits of montana haskap

It’s a dark berry few have heard about, but that will certainly be changing in the next few years.  Haskap berries are relatively new on the scene here in North America, but pay attention as the bushes are starting to reach maturity and research is better able to delve into the various ways that we can best benefit from the health benefits these little gems can pack.

“The elixir of life” according to the Ainu aboriginal people of Japan[1] it has many of the health benefits of a blueberry.  A closer look explains it’s potential as one of the newest superfruits!

Haskap and Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are the pigments that cause berries to be blue, purple, and red. Most all of us have heard the darker the berry, the healthier they are?  Well, you can thank these little molecules for giving us an easy way to spot a good-for-us berry!  The anthocyanin named C3G is naturally occurring in our super-berries – blueberries, chokecherries, and lingonberries to name a few.  What is interesting, though, is the Haskap berry has a significantly higher amount of this little fellow, C3G. 

Benefits of C3G

Natural occurring C3G has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and cardioprotective effects in studies.  Haskap was shown to have the most bang for the berry!  It’s crazy, but depending on the variety, the C3G content can be more than 13%!   

Vitamin C Benefits in Haskap

Yep, Haskaps strip oranges of their title. Haskap can offer more Vitamin C than oranges, so next time you feel a cold coming on, grab a handful of berries! [2]

The current research is focusing on how to best get the health benefits of Haskap berries to consumers.  We all know that fresh from the plant is best, but, like any berry, shelf life is limited.   Can science somehow capture those anthocyanins and advise us how best they should be preserved, or put them in a pill?  Maybe, but while we wait for answers, we are happy to eat them fresh, dehydrated as fruit leather, baked in a muffin or processed into wine. 

healthy montana haskap

[1] Thompson, M.M. (2006) Introducing haskap, Japanese blue honeysuckle.  Journal of the American Pomological Society, 60(4), 164-168

[2] Rupasinghe, Arumuggam, Amararathna, De Silva (2018) The potential health benefits of haskap (Lonicera caeruleaL.): Role of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 44, May 2018, Pages 24-39