For years, we’ve heard about the powerful benefits of superfruits. They have strong antioxidant properties, which keep us healthy.

The trend continues in 2012, so move over acai, pomegranate and mangosteen – there’s a new berry on the block.

New research out of Finland shows that ligonberry has a much higher antioxidant level in certain capacities than blueberries or raspberries.

And, it can help protect the blood vessels of people who have hypertension or have diabetic damage from too much blood sugar, said Dr. Peter Bongiorno of Innersource Health.

“It doesn’t lower the blood pressure, but it stops the damage,” he added.

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A native of Sweden, ligonberries are found on low, evergreen shrubs throughout the forests of Scandinavia. These tart, red berries are much smaller and juicier than their distant cousin, the cranberry.

“Lingonberries contain very high levels of certain phytochemicals, which are brilliant antioxidants, and these are the protective qualities that are in the berry that confer to us,” Bongiorno said. “So the same way that these chemicals protect the sun's radiation from damaging the small fruit, when we take them in, they also protect our bodies and protect us from excessive oxidation.”

Antioxidants have been proven to play a role in helping to prevent diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and macular degeneration.

And now that you know about this ‘power berry,’ be sure to look for it. With its growing popularity, Bongiorno predicted it’ll be in juices, powders and in the frozen food section of your local grocery store.