Four unusual plants that are super healthy!

When you think about healthy foods, fruits such as apples or cherries might come to mind. In terms of herbs and spices you may think of tumeric, ginger or cinnamon. But have you ever heard of Acerola, Aronia, Elderberry or Seabuckthorn? They aren’t the type of foods that you find in the average supermarket. However, these four plants are a few of the most highly nutritious and healthy foods you could eat. Here’s what you need to know about them:


Acerola
Acerola is known by several names including Cereza, the West Indian cherry or the Barbados cherry. It is believed to originate in the Yucatan and grows in hot tropical climates. The small, bright yellow or orange berries grow on small bushy shrubs that have a shallow root system. The acerola fruit are the size of cherries (hence their name) and contain small seeds. The fruit is acidic but has a sweet aroma and taste. Nutritionally Acerola is rich in vitamin C which helps boost the immune system. It also has traces of Vitamin B and important minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. Acerola is used to improve digestive health and treat inflammation in the gut. Because of its high vitamin C content it can also be used to help treat colds and boost energy levels.


Aronia
Aronia berries have a wide range of medicinal applications. They are a small fruit that are similar in size and shape to blueberries and are either red or black in colour. The berries grow on deciduous shrubs and prefer woodland and wetland areas. They are native to North America. A wide range of studies have been conducted on Aronia and it has been found to be useful in treating a wide range of ailment sranging from digestive and cardio conditions to more serious diseases such as cancer. One of the reasons for this is that Aronia is rich in antioxidants, as well as essential vitamins and minerals.


Elderberry
Elderberries have a long history of being used as a traditional medicine in many parts of the world. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Elderberries are believed to help boost the immune system and have proven to be very effective in aiding in treating colds and flu as well as other viral and bacterial infections. The bioflavonoids in particular in elderberries have powerful disease fighting properties.


Sea buckthorn
Sea buckthorn originates in China and there are there several species. The shrubs have sharp thorns and the berries are therefore difficult to harvest, but their medicinal and nutritional value makes it worth the effort. Juice made from sea buckthorn is acidic and is therefore often combined with other fruits to make it more palatable. Sea buckthorn is often used to improve cardiovascular and digestive health. It is rich in essential vitamins and minerals as well as amino acids and fatty acids. In studies conducted in China, sea buckthorn oil has show promising results in improving mental agility in aging patients.


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