If you can believe recent research then eating Lingonberries could not only prevent weight gain, but also help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
What are Lingonberries though and what makes them so beneficial?
Where do Lingonberries originate?
Lingonberries are incredibly popular in their native Sweden and have been cultivated in some parts of the US.
They are more often used in jams, juices, smoothies and syrups, although they can be eaten raw too.
Health benefits of Lingonberries
Scientists in Sweden (at Lund University) have studied the effects of Lingonberries on mice who were fed a high fat diet.
The hope was to find a way to prevent weight gain in those who eat a high fat diet.
The study itself involved a type of mouse that easily stored fat, the reason for this was that this was regarded as the closest model for a human that was overweight and at risk of diabetes.
During the study the mice were separated into groups, with some given a low fat diet, although the majority ate a high fat diet.
Over the course of 3 months the groups were each given a type of berry to see which had the best results.
Lingonberry, bilberry, raspberry, crowberry, blackberry, prune, blackcurrant and acai berry were all given to the mice.
Although both blackcurrants and bilberries showed good results the Lingonberry had the best results with the researchers noting that the mice who had been eating a high fat diet had not put on weight, nor had their blood sugar and cholesterol levels increased.
Lovisa Heyman, one of the researchers at Lund University had this to say regarding the results:
“While the findings in mice are exciting, it should absolutely not be interpreted as a license to eat an unhealthy diet as long as you add lingonberries!”
“But we certainly hope to investigate if lingonberries could be part of dietary strategies to prevent obesity also in humans.”
It is believed that the reason Lingonberries were so beneficial was that they have a high number of polyphenols present.
Possible issues with Lingonberries
This recent research is promising, but the scientists themselves recommend that you still take steps to reduce your fat intake if your aim is to lose weight.
There is also an issue with boiling the berries as this process will affect its nutrient content.
The biggest issue however, is that Lingonberries is most popular as a jam, which is often laden with sugar that will seriously affect your weight despite the benefits of the berry.
Where to buy Lingonberries?
You may find Lingonberries hard to buy here in the UK. It is available in some supermarkets but your best bet is to look in IKEA or even some specialist health stores.