Honeyberries, also known by their Japanese name haskap or hascappu berries, are still relatively unknown to many places in the world. But not only are blue honeysuckle berries edible, they can also offer some interesting nutritional and health benefits. They have an elongated shape resembling a bell and a taste similar to blueberries.
Benefits of honeyberry
1. Honeyberry can tame inflammation – Inflammation is the underlying cause for chronic diseases, and these berries are known for their protection against chronic diseases. Haskap is rich in polyphenols that have the ability to act as an excellent inflammation determent. It also contains anthocyanin that has anti-inflammatory properties and might help to prevent or fight against gingivitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Marjoramis also has the Anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Honeyberry for eyes – This anthocyanin-rich food may help in keeping the eyes healthy. Anthocyanin is proven to be beneficial for good eyesight. This helps to increase circulation within the retinal capillaries, enhancing the night vision. It also helps fight macular degeneration and prevents retinopathy in diabetic patients.
3. Honeyberry for cancer treatment – Oxidative DNA damage is said to occur thousands of times per day and in every single cell in the body. It is the part of the reason we grow older and plays an important role in the development of cancer cells. A study conducted, proved that those who consumed haskap on a daily basis reduced their free radical content in the body by 25 percent.
4. Honeyberry for cardiovascular benefits – This anthocyanin-rich fruit may help in keeping the veins healthy by nullifying the enzymes that destroy connective tissue, by repairing the damaged proteins in the blood-vessel walls. It helps in promoting healthy circulation of blood through your heart. The oxidation of LDL is a crucial step in the heart disease process. The antioxidants in haskap berries are strongly linked to reducing the levels of oxidised LDL. Another study has shown that consuming 75 grams of haskap berries with the main meal greatly reduced the oxidation of LDL lipoproteins. It contains additional chlorogenic acid and phytochemicals that may provide a healthy cardiovascular benefit by controlling blood pressure.
5. Honeyberry is low in calories but high in nutrients – Haskaps are among the most nutrient-dense berries, where a single cup serving contains 4 grams of fibre, 24% vitamin C, 25% Manganese and 36% vitamin K. Also, it contains about 84% of water, and an entire cup contains 85 calories with 15 grams of carbohydrates, making it an excellent source of several important nutrients.
6. Honeyberry is rich in antioxidants – Antioxidants protect our bodies from the damage of free radicals and unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage, fast ageing and life-threatening diseases like cancer. They are believed to be one of the highest carriers of anti-oxidants. They have been responsible for the direct increase of anti-oxidants in our body.
7. Honeyberry to lower the blood pressure – High blood pressure is one of the main reasons for several diseases. And apparently, haskap berries appear to have significant benefits for people with high blood pressure. One study conducted with obese people noted 6-7 percent reduction in blood pressure after consuming 50 grams of haskap berries for eight weeks.
8. Honeyberry can help improve the brain function – Oxidative stress results in brain’s ageing process and can have a negative effect on brain function. The anti-oxidants present in haskap berries tend to stimulate in the areas of the brain that are important for intelligence. These anti-oxidants directly interact with the ageing neurons, which leads to improvement in the cell functioning.
9. Honeyberry possesses anti-diabetic effect – Several studies have shown that honeyberries have anti-diabetic effects. The bioactive compounds in honeyberry cancel out any negative impact on the sugar that leads to maintaining the blood sugar level. The anthocyanins present in honeyberries have beneficial effects on the insulin and glucose sensitivity. Consuming honeyberry smoothie can cause major improvements in the insulin sensitivity and lowers the blood sugar level.
10. Honeyberry for urinary tract infections – Like blueberries, honeyberries contain substances that can help prevent the bacteria binding on the wall of the urinary bladder. These infections are very common problem in women and honeyberries may be useful in preventing such type of infections.
Adding honeyberries to your diet
Honeyberries can be consumed raw or made into jams or jellies or pies or used in other baking recipes.
Honeyberries are available in winter seasons and early summer. They can be consumed anytime of the day but the best time is in the morning.
Honeyberries do not have any proved side effects if consumed in moderation.
Recipe for Honeyberry icecream
6 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups 2% milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 c honeyberries
In a heavy saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until it is about to boil. Remove from heat; add cream, vanilla and honeyberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Follow instructions that come with your ice cream maker. Serve and top with berries.
Recipe for Honeyberry Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar (evaporated cane sugar)
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup melted butter
1 large egg,
2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup honeyberry jam
TOPPING – 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (or evaporated cane sugar), 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup sliced almonds (sprinkled last)
HEAT oven to 400F. Spray 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. COMBINE flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and allspice in medium bowl. Add butter, egg and milk. Mix vigorously until well blended. POUR half of batter into prepared pan; spread preserves evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter. COMBINE topping ingredients; mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of coffee cake. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
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