Buffaloberries: A new year, a new “super food”?

Recent studies have revealed properties of fruits originating in North America – known and consumed by Native American Indians long ago, one of their most important properties are very high content of lycopene, a substance with powerful effects in the prevention of cancer.

Small, red, with a bitter-sweet taste and acid at the same time, fruit shrubs of the genus Shepherdia – known in North America as buffaloberries, are consumed by animals (although bears more than bison), but also by native American populations for a long time.

What is new is the properties and their potential recognized by scientists. A study published in the Journal of Food Science suggests that these shrubs could be a valuable crop, especially in economically underdeveloped areas.

The berries are extremely popular with bears in North and South Dakota

The fruits contain high amounts of lycopene (an antioxidant found in tomatoes) also contain a compound called methyl-licopenoat acid (a natural food coloring) and phenolic antioxidants that help prevent cancer and slow down cellular aging. Their natural acidity of entrepreneurs suggested the idea that fruit could be used to manufacture of wine.

Shepherdia shrubs grow today especially on the outskirts of Amerindian reserves of U.S. states North Dakota and South Dakota. Commercial production is limited, but the authors believe that the plants has a great potential, which could provide nutritional and economic opportunities worth exploited.

Source: Mail Online

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