Swedish lingonberry a weight-loss superfood

The bright-red jam served with meatballs at Ikea restaurants around the world might look like coagulated, radioactive blood, but Swedish researchers have found the lingonberry can keep weight gain at bay and help combat diabetes.

Swedish lingonberry a weight-loss superfood
Lingon berry jam. File photo: Skånska Matupplevelser/Flickr

Lund University researchers used mice that are prone to putting on weight in their study, and then gave some lingonberries as an add-on to their diet, while test groups of mice were fed other types of berries. 

After three months, the lingon mice were the healthiest.

"The mice that got lingon were not fat, they had lower blood sugar, were not as insulin resistant, and they had lower inflammation levels in the body," molecular biologist Lovisa Heyman told Sveriges Radio (SR) on Thursday. 

READ ALSO: A beginner's guide to traditional Swedish food

The researchers will now continue their work, and try to isolate what part of the lingonberry has health-giving properties. They are hoping the studies can help humans who are prone to putting on weight and therefore run the risk of developing diabetes, and other life-style illnesses. 

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