Lingonberry (Cowberries), Raw

ORAC Value:
μ mol TE/100g.

The antioxidant value of Lingonberry (Cowberries), Raw described in ORAC units is: 20,300 μ mol TE/100g.


If we had to bet on one berry which is destined for superfood status sooner or later, it would definitely be lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). Sometimes referred to as the cowberry, this is one of the highest ORAC berries on earth. You may have to travel to find it, but not to some exotic tropical destination. Rather, the lingonberry can actually be found in the United States if you go to the right place... Alaska. It is also found throughout the boreal forests of Canada, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the rest of the Arctic tundra climate throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

How much antioxidants do lingonberries have? To put it the number in perspective, their ORAC value is around 4x that of conventional blueberries and raspberries. It's even 2x that of wild blueberries. That only other North American berry that really gives it a run for its money is the black raspberry, but even those rank a hair below the lingonberry. It is hard for most fruits to beat lingon's incredible profile of over 30 phenolic compounds which include anthocyanins, flavones, and benzoic acid.

High antioxidants are only one of its health benefits. The other is quite unusual for a berry and that is its high omega 3 fatty acid content, thanks to the seeds inside of them. In a similar manner to cranberries, there is research to suggest their red colored pulp and juice contain phytochemcials which may be beneficial for urinary tract infections.

One of its phenolic compounds - benzoic acid - helps preserve the berries even when they are at room temperature, as they last significantly longer than the other types mentioned above.

If you're stuck in the lower 48 or somewhere else in the world, where can you buy lingonberries. Well funny enough, since it's a Scandinavian food you will actually find lingonberry jam sold at Ikea stores! Most grocery stores are unlikely to carry jams and dried products, but you can easily find them online.

ORAC Source

Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't: Dinstel RR, Cascio J, Koukel S. The antioxidant level of Alaska's wild berries: high, higher and highest. Int J Circumpolar Health. NIH Aug 2013