Haskap in Health and Nutrition
Haskap berries are a great source of antioxidants and other flavonoids such as: Rutin, Ferulic acid, Epicatechin, Genistic acid, Protocatechuic acid, Caffeic Acid, Ellagitannins, Quercetin and many others which help fight cancer and other diseases.
Vitamin C contents range from 50mg-100mg/100g of the berries, outranking Blueberries.
Some important things about haskap to consider are:
Fruits are dietetically important foods that are not adequately replaceable by any other products. Plant tissues are naturally rich in nutritive or therapeutically active products. The consumption of fruits is associated with improved human health. It is not known which dietary constituents are responsible for this association, but antioxidants appear to play the major role in the protective effects of plant foods.
A large number of recently published investigations have proved the therapeutic effects of various fruits and vegetables in prevention of a number of chronic diseases. In this respect the chemopreventive, antimicrobial, antiadherence, and antioxidant benefits of L. caerulea berries have also been described.
Consumption of high amounts of antioxidant flavonoids, which display a variety of biological properties, including antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory activity, may have a positive impact on human health, particularly for the prevention of cancer and other inflammatory diseases.
UV radiation is the principal factor in skin cancers in humans. Several studies have shown that supplementation with antioxidants can inhibit/decrease UV-induced skin damage .
Haskap dietery Research Excerpts
Consumption of high amounts of antioxidant substances may have a positive impact on human health, particularly the prevention of cancer and inflammatory diseases (Gazdík et al. 2008).
The fruit of blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) belong to fruit species with unique biological and chemical properties. Major positive features are extra early ripening, outstanding frost resistance of plants and flowers, a high content of flavonoids and other bioactive substances (Plekhanova 2000).
A high total polyphenolic content (TPC) and total antioxidant activity (TAA) are typical of blue honeysuckle berry (Zadernowski et al. 2005).
The health benefits from eating haskap/honeysuckle berries have long been acknowledged in Russia (Kolacina and Posdnyakov, l991).
Recent research has supported some of these folkloric claims of therapeutic uses of blue honeysuckle berries for arteriosclerosis, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, and bacterial infections. Chemical analyses of berries demonstrated high contents of vitamin C and polyphenols (Plekhanova and Streltsyna, l993).
Several reports verify that the antioxidant properties of anthocyanins and total phenolics in fruits are responsible for significant health benefits (Frankel, et al., 1998, Satue-Garcia et al., l997; Wang, et al., l999).
The L. caerulea berries contained 82.7% water, 1.6% proteins, 1.5% lipids, 7.2% saccharides, 6.7% dietary fiber, and 0.5% ash. Glutamic acid and arginine were the most common amino acids. Among others, aspartic acid, leucine, phenylalanine, and glycine predominated. The energetic value of L. caerulea fruits was calculated to be 330 kcal/kg (1380 kJ/kg). The berries also contained quite large amounts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other minerals. The dominant vitamins were ascorbic acid, niacin, and tocopherols.
The antioxidant levels are measured using the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) method. A wide variety of foods have been tested using this methodology, with the Haskap Berry being rated very highly in comparison with other berries . All tests that we are aware of indicate that levels of antioxidants in haskap exceed levels in wild blueberries, black currants, chokecherries (wild black cherries), grapes, plums, cranberry, raspberries, and many other fruits. Some independent tests indicate that the total anti-oxidant levels in haskap are 3 times higher than blueberries.
In any case, the fruit is very healthy for you however it is consumed, and most agree that it has a wonderful and unique flavour as well.