Lingonberry Jam Health Benefits Explained: Lingonberry 101
I hadn’t heard of lingonberries for most of life as a youngster. Honestly, I had only really developed a taste for blueberries and cranberries for a long part of my life. So it wasn’t until I was gifted a jar of lingonberry jam that I tasted this delicious berry for the first time.
I grew up in a family where jam formed a large part of our daily breakfast diet. So I was surprised by the fact that I had never encountered lingonberry jam. I immediately took to the taste and have been stocking the jam in my home ever since. In doing my research into the benefits of lingonberries, I realized that I was holding a healthy treasure in my hands.
The berry is traditionally a part of European culture. But there are species that are native to the upper parts of Northern America and Canada. They’ve become pretty popular among healthy eaters on this side of the world too.
Like most berries, such as blueberries, goji berries, mulberries, and cranberries, lingonberries are essentially an antioxidant powerhouse. They can be incredibly effective at helping you detox and boost your body’s natural immunity levels.
Lingonberries are totally delicious, they can be served in a variety of different ways. Therefore, including them in your diet is pretty easy.
In reading this article, I hope to shed some light on just how effective these berries can be in terms of keeping you healthy. They make a tasty addition to your meals and are great as a snack. Lingonberries can prevent certain health ailments too, keep reading to find out what lingonberries can do for your health and wellness!
What Are Lingonberries? What Is Lingonberry Jam?
Lingonberries are traditionally thought of as being native to Scandinavia and Sweden. These countries are generally thought of as the ‘home’ of lingonberry jam. It’s formed a large part of their culture and history over the years as a tasty snack and alternative medicine.
However, the berries are also native to certain parts of North America and have become popular there as well. If you’re trying to find the best quality of lingonberries, I would say that Sweden is probably the best place to source. The genus of berry in this area is a little different from the ones that are in North America.
Lingonberries are usually ¼ -- ½ inch in diameter and are generally a deep red color. They’re loaded with natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including benzoic acid. Benzoic acid helps to keep them fresher for longer. I’d recommend freezing them as they can last anywhere from 8-12 weeks when refrigerated normally, and a lot longer once frozen.
Traditionally, lingonberry jam is made with a mixture of water, sugar and the berries themselves. You boil them down to a thick, sweet jam. However, due to the rise in health-conscious eaters out there, the use of honey instead of sugar has become quite popular. This makes for a healthy and delicious substitute for sugar in the recipe.
There are loads of recipes and techniques online for you to try out and I highly recommend experimenting with different combinations. Jam is so easy to make and the seemingly endless amount of options can really get those creative juices flowing.
This jam makes an awesome natural energy booster for those breakfast meals or as a midday snack. I don’t think there’s anything quite as satisfying as being able to eat something that you made with your own hands. Instead of spending a small fortune on store-bought jams, why not try your own for a change?
— OutwardBoundFinland (@OutwardBoundFIN) September 13, 2015
How is Lingonberry Jam Made?
The process of making jam is much the same for any ingredient(s) you choose to use. It really isn’t that difficult so don’t worry if you’re not the type for DIY projects. Jam is a really good place to start in the DIY world because it’s easy, quick and really tasty.
So to help you get a better idea of how the jam is made, I’ve found a great recipe that I would recommend trying. It’s quite delicious when it’s finished and really simple and cheap too. It is perfect for the next time you’re bored at home or simply feel like experimenting in the kitchen.
What you need:
- 2 ¼ pounds of lingonberries (1.2 Kg’s).
- 1 cup of organic honey.
- ¾ to 1 cup of water.
- Some clean, glass jars with sealable lids.
- A handful of mint.
- 2 cinnamon sticks.
- 6 cloves.
To make the jam, simply place the lingonberries into the pot. Add the water and bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes. Now stir in the honey, mint, cloves and cinnamon sticks and raise to a rapid boil with or without the lid.
After another 5 minutes of boiling, pour the jam out of the pot and into the glass jars and seal them tightly. Now place the jars in the sink and fill it with warm water so that it reaches half the height of the jars. Lastly, allow it to rest for roughly 10 minutes.
Then place the jars in the fridge for another 30 minutes and voila -- fresh tasty jam. This delicious treat can be used as either a sweet treat by itself or in breakfasts and desserts. It even makes a complementary ingredient for savory dishes.
Lingonberry Health Benefits Explained
Lingonberries offer a wide array of different health benefits due to the large amount of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients that they contain. Another key reason for the huge health benefits of lingonberries is due to the fact that they are packed with natural antioxidants. Some of these include: proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids, hydroxybenzoic acids and flavanols.
The high antioxidant content in lingonberries make them particularly effective at helping to detoxify the blood and body. Detoxing helps to keep toxins and free radicals at bay and ultimately allows you to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Lingonberries have strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is for this reason they have been used as a natural treatment for both bacterial and viral infections for centuries. They can be used either internally or externally to help treat minor wounds, rashes, sores and skin infections.
While cancer is a very serious illness and should never be treated lightly. Studies have shown that lingonberry extracts can help to prevent the growth or proliferation of cancer cells in both the breast and the colon. It can also help treat those recovering from chemotherapy.
The truth is that natural products care best used to aid in preventing the onset of of the disease in the first place. So while I wouldn’t recommend that you simply try eating a few berries as a means of treating cancer. They can definitely help in the process of preventing the disease.
By flushing your body of toxins and oxidized molecules, you can help to regulate and maintain a healthy body and prevent a large amount of health ailments. This is probably the best approach one can have towards healthcare in general. I think it’s the one thing doctors, patients and homeopaths can all agree on.
I have personally always believed that no home is complete without the addition of something sweet to go with your tea. If that’s how you live. homemade jam makes a lovely addition to any tea time. It’s also great as part of breakfast breakfast or in desserts.
Lingonberries are healthy and relatively affordable when in season. They’re super tasty and simple to include in your diet. You don’t have to limit yourself to jam. Juices, salads, sauces as well as savory and sweet dishes are all possible with lingonberries. Your imagination is the only thing holding you back here, so get experimenting and reap the health benefits today.