Lingonberries have a wide range of essential nutrients, anti-inflammatory and infection fighting properties so incorporating them into your diet will benefit your health in a number of ways. The recent study carried out by Sweden’s Lund University found that, when tested on mice, lingonberries almost completely prevent an increase in weight. However animal-based evidence is not considered the highest grade of proof when applied to human circumstances. It is unrealistic for humans to eat the same proportion of lingonberries as the mice were given in this study. In humans, lingonberries do not completely halt the effects of a high fat diet but they do have the following health benefits:
- Metabolic effects and blood pressure regulation – lingonberries have an ability to boost the levels of the good cholesterol, HDL which acts to keep blood pressure low as well as decreasing the risk of exposure to metabolic syndrome, a syndrome that increases the risk of weight-gain and associated diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
- Anti- inflammatory and anti-infectious – lingonberries contain proanthocyanidins that help fight off infections and a polyphenol called flavonoid that protects against chronic inflammations that cause heart disease and cancer. It has been used to help cure liver ailments and gastric ulcers
- Digestion – lingonberries are rich in fibre, helping the digestive system function, leading to a healthy and happy stomach
- Rich in essential nutrients – lingonberries are rich in vitamins A, B and C and minerals such as magnesium and calcium, helping you to reach the recommended daily vitamin and mineral intake
How to eat lingonberries
It is best to eat lingonberries raw because boiling them can affect their nutritional value. Try adding frozen lingonberries to your smoothie, cereal and granola or make raw lingonberry jam by blending the berries together with a natural syrup like maple syrup or agave extract.
As with other superfoods, do not rely on lingonberries to keep healthy or for a quick-fix weight loss solution. These berries should be consumed as part of a balanced diet, complementing, rather than replacing your essential daily nutrients such as carbs and protein.
Lovisa Nilsson is the in-house nutritionist at Lifesum.com, Scandinavia’s leading health and fitness app that recently launched in the UK. The app helps users to reach their weight and nutritional goals through a personalised plan.