By Daily Mail Reporter 28th August 2008 Superfruit: Aronia berries A berry reckoned to be the healthiest fruit in the world will soon be available in Britain’s shops for the first time. The aronia is a ‘superfood’, richer in anti-cancer antioxidants than raspberries and more modern imports such as the goji and acai. It even has three times the level of antioxidants found in blueberries. Now a six-year plan by Marks & Spencer to cultivate the berries in Scotland has come to fruition and they will be in its stores from Monday. The plant is native to North America, where early settlers gave it the name ‘chokeberry’ because it is so sharp when eaten raw. The aronia berry â€“ which is similar in appearance to a cranberry â€“ is also said to help ward off heart disease. American Indians believed it was a good aphrodisiac. The move to grow the plant in the UK will satisfy environmentalists, because it will be more ecologically sound to transport the berries to M&S shops than if they were imported. Because it needs damp, mild conditions in which to grow, it is an ideal crop for parts of Scotland. The introduction of the aronia berry has also been influenced by Britain’s Polish population â€“ it has long been popular in their home country. The introduction to shop shelves of the aronia berries will feed the growing demand for ‘superfruits’. M&S has seen a 40 per cent increase in sales of blueberries in the past year. Its berries specialist Emmett Lunny said: ‘We are proud to bring one of the healthiest berries to the High Street.’ The berries, which contain high levels of vitamin C, are too tart and sharp to be eaten raw, but are ideal for sauces in summer puddings or on cheesecakes, or blended into juices and smoothies. The store group will be the first major High Street chain to stock the fruit, which it is selling for Â£1.99 for a 220g pack. The berries are being grown by Thomas Thomson in Blairgowrie, Perthshire.