Haskap – the new wonder berry taking our health by storm….
Haskap berries, also called Blue Honeysuckle, Honeyberry and Edible Honeysuckle are fast growing in reputation as the new wonderberries. The word haskap comes from the Japanese “Hasukappu” meaning “little present on the end of the branch”. Grown on leafy bushes in the norther hemisphere in countries such as Canada, Japan and Russia, the haskap berry has an amazing ability to survive hostile and freezing winters with temperatures reaching as low as minus 47 degrees.
The haskap berry looks similar to a blueberry in colour but is bigger in size and each berry contains two purple-blue berries inside, wrapped in an outer purple-blue skin, housing a deep crimson flesh. This brilliant berry contains up to 8 times more anthocyanins and three times more antioxidants than blueberries. Eating a diet rich in anthocyanins can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart attacks and non-insulin dependent diabetes. It also fights free radicals, works to reduce inflammation and is neuro and cardio protective.
The berry has a unique, zesty flavour, combining tangy and sweet, plus it has a beautiful naturally strong berry colour. The unique flavour is about ¾ blueberry, ¼ raspberry, with undertones of blackcurrant and elderberry.
So where can you find this wonderberry? Haskapa founders Simon Fineman and Evie Kemp have after years of research developed a freeze-dried powder from their 60 acre Haskap farm that is an antioxidant-rich powerhouse with each 100g pouch of powder containing around 1000 haskap berries. Perfect to use in your smoothie, shake, or stirred into porridge or yogurt. The powder also works well for baking and desserts – it will add beautiful colour and a unique delicious taste!
Scientists from Reading University recently published a ground-breaking clinical study looking at the acute effects of three haskap berry doses and placebo in older adults. The results showed improvements in memory (word recall and recognition) and lower diastolic blood pressure. Anthocyanins help to dilate blood vessels with an associated increase in blood flow and oxygen delivery to cells.