Arbutus and its antioxidant benefits

Arbutus characteristics

  • Antioxidant power;
  • Rich in pectin;
  • Excellent source of vitamin C;
  • Promotes intestinal transit;
  • Contributes to cardiovascular health.

Nutritional and caloric values ​​of arbutus

Arbutus is a small fruit with an atypical nutritional profile. Relatively caloric compared to most fruits, it contains 20% carbohydrates and 68% water. 

In addition to this calorie content, the arbutus is an excellent source of vitamin C, tannins and other polyphenols with antioxidant power. Arbutus also contains pectin, a soft soluble fiber excellent for intestinal well-being.

For 100 g of arbutus:

NutrientsAverage content
Water68.2 g
Carbohydrates20 g
Lipids0.4 g
Protein0.7 g
Energy86.4 kcal
Energy361.1 kJ

The benefits of arbutus

As part of a diversified diet, the arbutus turns out to be a real health asset. Indeed, its richness in antioxidants and dietary fiber is a major advantage for the health of the body. 

Fight against diarrhea 

It is the pectin contained in the arbutus which makes it possible to easily regulate the transit in the event of acute diarrhea .

Protection of the cardiovascular system 

The action of polyphenols is proven to fight against many pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases.

Diuretic virtues

Both the fruit and the leaves of the plant are effective in combating water retention by allowing a good elimination of stagnant water in the body.

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Antioxidant power of arbutus

Acting as antioxidants, the tannins found in arbutus will be very effective in fighting against cellular aging and trapping free radicals. Also antioxidant, the vitamin C contained in the arbutus will also play a role in the regulation of the synthesis of cholesterol and limit the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

A word from the nutritionist

Arbutus deserves its place as part of a varied and balanced diet. However, pay attention to the method of preparation. Indeed, this fruit is rarely eaten raw but most often in syrup, macerated in strong alcohol or in the form of jelly or jam. So many preparations that completely change the energy and sugar content of arbutus.

How to choose the right arbutus?

Ripe arbutus is orange-red and has a rough skin. Its flesh is soft and floury and contains many small seeds. The arbutus measures on average 1 to 3 cm and weighs about 15g. It is found especially in autumn on the markets.

Arbutus identity card

  • Family: ericaceae;
  • Origin: Mediterranean basin;
  • Autumn season ;
  • Red color ;
  • Flavor: not very pronounced.

Preserve the arbutus 

Very fragile, the arbutus will keep for a few days in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Once cooked or blanched, the fruit can be stored in the freezer for a few months. A great way to enjoy it all year round. 

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Choosing the right arbutus

The arbutus should ideally be chosen extra-ripe, but still firm. Its color must be very red and its skin without spots or traces of bruising. As the arbutus is cultivated in France, it is strongly recommended to promote this production by avoiding buying fruits imported from other countries and continents.

How to prepare arbutus

The arbutus flavor is sweet and slightly tart. However, it is not a very strong fruit in taste. Most often, the arbutus is consumed raw or fermented as an alcoholic drink.

Make arbutus jam

You can use the arbutus, alone or mixed with other fruits, to make delicious jams and jellies. When very ripe, the arbutus has a slight apricot taste, although not very pronounced. It is therefore ideal to cook this original fruit in a jam version. To do this, simply precook the arbutus for 15 minutes over low heat, then pass through a sieve to remove the seeds. Then put back on the heat with an equivalent amount of sugar then bring to the boil for ten minutes. Finally, all that remains is to package the jam in sterilized jars and then leave to cool completely. 

Dare the arbutus liqueur 

Arbutus is very popular in liqueur after having been macerated in brandy for a few weeks. Arbutus liqueur is a very original way to indulge yourself occasionally and in moderation. 

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Eat the arbutus raw … or cooked 

Although little known, the arbutus lends itself to all preparations. It can be eaten raw or cooked as desired. Raw, it allows you to subtly decorate desserts or make original fruit salads. Also, the arbutus fits easily into baked desserts: cakes, cakes, muffins, pies, etc. 

Contraindications and allergies to arbutus

There are few contraindications to the consumption of arbutus in moderate quantities. However, beware of excess: the arbutus consumed in too large a quantity can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms. 

With the arbutus, avoid excess

Be careful, the arbutus is slightly toxic, consumed raw in large quantities, it can induce colic and vomiting.

History and anecdotes

It can be confused with lychee, yet the arbutus is native to the Mediterranean basin. However, it is not only around the Mediterranean basin that the arbutus grows. Indeed, there is another variety of arbutus: the Chinese arbutus, also called Chinese strawberry.

 At first glance, the Chinese arbutus looks like our Mediterranean arbutus, plus the kernel. Indeed, the Chinese arbutus has a large central core. Harvested in Asia for thousands of years, the arbutus is known there for its juice, which is particularly appreciated for its record antioxidant content and for its good taste, both sweet and tangy.

Arbutus and its antioxidant benefits
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