The haskap berry (botanical name Lonicera caerulea) is an edible blue honeysuckle native to northern hemisphere countries including Canada, Japan and Russia. Haskap berries grow on deciduous leafy bushes which have an amazing ability to survive hostile, freezing northern winters.
Haskap berries are oval-rectangular in shape, looking a little like elongated blueberries. They have a dark purple-blue double skin, vibrant crimson flesh and tiny, almost undetectable seeds.
Haskap berries are uniquely delicious and are described as a blend of tangy and sweet.
Haskap berries contain up to four times more anthocyanins and up to three times more antioxidants than blueberries. Haskap berries also have a unique anthocyanin profile, with one specific anthocyanin called cyanidin-3-glucoside, known as C3G, making up around 85% of the total anthocyanin content. They also contain a range of other polyphenols including phenolic acids e.g. chlorogenic acid and other flavonoids such as quercetin.
Anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant pigments that give fruit and vegetables their deep purple, blue and red colours. Haskap berries have one of the highest recorded anthocyanin values of any berry. Anthocyanins have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and neuroprotective properties. It is these properties that are associated with their health promoting benefits.
Haskap berries contain up to four times more anthocyanins than blueberries. Comparison of the total anthocyanin content of different fruit is difficult due to different assessment methods, fresh and dry weight comparison, differences in cultivars and growing location. This comparison was calculated using recently published data from our own Canadian farm for blueberry and haskap.
Antioxidants are natural compounds found in certain foods, which can help our bodies fight the damage caused by potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals. These free radicals are generated as a result of normal biological processes occurring every day in our cells. The mismatch of too many free radicals and too few antioxidants can lead to a state known as oxidative stress, when damage can occur to DNA and other structures in our cells. Oxidative stress is believed to play a role in the development of many chronic diseases including heart and neurological diseases. It is thought antioxidants in our diet can help fight chronic oxidative stress associated with the development of these chronic diseases.
Polyphenols are naturally occurring plant compounds found in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, tea and wine. More than 8,000 different polyphenols have been identified with a range of properties including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Research on polyphenols has shown they are associated with reducing the risk of many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiac and neurological diseases. The two main subgroups of polyphenols are flavonoids and phenolic acids. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid.
Flavonoids are a broad group of nutrients found in most fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are divided into 6 main subclasses; flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, isoflavones, and anthocyanins. Scientists are continuing to research flavonoids to better understand the health benefits of consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
There is a long history of haskap berries being used in traditional medicine in Japan, Russia and China. The haskap was named by the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido, northern Japan who knew it as the ‘elixir of life’. More recently, Haskap breeding programs have been introduced by pioneering North American breeders such as Dr. Maxime Thompson (Oregon State University) and Dr. Bob Bors (University of Saskatchewan). See the excellent University of Saskatchewan Fruit Program website: https://research-groups.usask.ca/fruit/Fruit%20crops/haskap.php
We wanted to create a product that would capture haskap’s unique nutritional content and be available to enjoy throughout the year. The berries are gently freeze-dried to help preserve their natural goodness and high levels of anthocyanins. The powder is made using berries from our own farm and other carefully selected Canadian suppliers.
The powder tastes just like the berries - uniquely delicious and described as a distinctive blend of tangy and sweet.
Haskap berry powder is a vibrant red-purple colour which turns food and drinks a rich and beautiful hue. The purple colour is created by the mix of the berry’s outer blue-purple skin and deep crimson flesh.
In the 2016 BBC1 documentary “How to Stay Young” Angela Rippon investigated why the people of the Japanese island of Okinawa live longer than anywhere else in the world, with low rates of dementia and heart disease. Scientists discovered that the secret to the islanders’ longevity was their diet, in particular their regular consumption of purple sweet potato containing significant quantities of anthocyanins. In the program a scientist from the Norwich Institute of Research explained “there is good scientific evidence that anthocyanins are good for blood flow, delivering the nutrients and oxygen your brain needs to work well”. He went on to recommend: “we now know not just 5 fruit and veg per day… but perhaps you should include two purple ones in your diet, because we have established sufficient evidence that they are consistently good for your brain and for other elements of your health.” See https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03q0lnd
Haskapa berry powder is super-versatile and tastes great. Use as you would other fruit or berry powders - simply a teaspoon in your smoothie, shake, or stirred into breakfast cereal, porridge or yogurt. Haskap berry powder is also brilliant in baking and desserts - adding natural colour and a unique delicious taste. See our growing recipe section here.
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Each 100g pouch contains around 800 pure freeze-dried powdered haskap berries and nothing else.
Each pouch contains a minimum of 2000mg anthocyanin per 100g or 20mg anthocyanin per gram of powder.
Leading scientists have recently written: “It can be safely stated that daily moderate intake (50 mg anthocyanins…) can mitigate the risk of diseases and conditions of major socioeconomic importance in the Western world.”
A daily Haskapa anthocyanin boost can help you to achieve this recommended intake, and as part of a balanced diet, is an investment to protect your health both now and into the future. However, some people in our community have shared anecdotal feedback regarding positive effects after one to four months use.
Wilhelmina Kalt, Aedin Cassidy, Luke R Howard, Robert Krikorian, April J Stull, Francois Tremblay, Raul Zamora-Ros, Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins, Advances in Nutrition, , nmz065, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz065
One teaspoon is equivalent to a handful of berries. We recommend one or two teaspoons per serving per day which contains around 40-80mg anthocyanins.
Research suggests that eating a diet rich in anthocyanins may be associated with reducing the risk of many chronic diseases including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and cognitive decline as we age. One of anthocyanins main effects is dilation of blood vessels with an associated increase in blood flow and oxygen delivery to cells.
Scientists from Reading University published a pilot clinical study in December 2018 looking at the acute effects of three haskap berry doses or placebo in older adults. The results showed improvements in memory (word recall and recognition) and lower diastolic blood pressure, with higher haskap doses being more effective. The positive blood pressure result was probably caused by dilation of blood vessels, as observed in previous anthocyanin studies.
Haskapa are continuing to work with scientists to research the potential positive effects of haskap berries.
Bell, L. & Williams, C.M. Eur J Nutr (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1877-9
Haskapa freeze dried powder is made from 100% natural berries with no added sugars, sweeteners, colours or preservatives. It is wheat-free (does not naturally contain gluten), vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free.
Unless you have a known berry allergy, it is safe to eat the recommended daily serving as part of a balanced diet.
If you are pregnant or taking medication, please check with your doctor first.
It is important to seal the bag carefully after each use and then store the powder in a cool, dark, dry place.
Online from this website both as a one-off and as a subscription offer, or from one of our carefully selected retailers.
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