Anthocyanins

anthocyanins

Anthocyanins, derived from the Greek words “anthos” meaning flower and “kyanos” meaning blue,  are water-soluble flavonoid pigments that appear red to blue, according to pH. They are created by plants and provide color in leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits.

Health Benefits of Anthocyanins

Richly concentrated in berries, these phytonutrients were the topic of research presented at a 2007 symposium on the health benefits of berries.

Studies show anthocyanins exert positive influences on a wide variety of health conditions. One reason is their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins also provide powerful protection against oxidation caused by free radicals. Of 150 flavonoids tested, anthocyanins were found to exert the strongest antioxidant activity.

By protecting both large and small blood vessels from oxidative damage, anthocyanins help to reduce the damage that arises from high blood sugar levels—a major concern for people with diabetes or anyone who wants to slow the aging process and reduce their risk of chronic disease.

In fact, researchers have found that anthocyanins have potential health effects against:

  • Cancer
  • Aging
  • Neurological diseases
  • Inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Bacterial infections

As of 2003 more than 400 anthocyanins had been reported while more recent literature (early 2006), puts the number at more than 550.

How to Get More Anthocyanins in Your Diet

Get your fill of these fabulous phytonutrients by enjoying cherries, blueberries, plums, red cabbage, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranates, apples, grapes, eggplant and red wine. Anthocyanins are found in fresh and frozen berries, but not in processed foods.

Anthocyanins - Found in:

Plums, Cabbage, Strawberries, Raspberries, Pomegranate, Apples, Grapes, Eggplant, Red Wine,
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References 
Wang SY, Jiao H. Scavenging capacity of berry crops on superoxide radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. J Agric Food Chem 2000 Nov;48(11):5677-84.Igarashi K, et al. Preventive effects of dietary cabbage acylated anthocyanins on paraquat-induced oxidative stress in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2000 Aug;64(8):1600-7. Tsuda T. The role of anthocyanins as an antioxidant under oxidative stress in rats. Biofactors 2000;13(1-4):133-9.Zadok D. The effect of anthocyanosides in a multiple oral dose on night vision. Eye 1999 Dec;13(Pt 6):734-6.Meiers S. The anthocyanidins cyanidin and delphinidin are potent inhibitors of the epidermal growth-factor receptor. J Ag Food Chem 2001 Feb 19;49(2):958-62.Kong J. M., Chia L. S., Goh N. K., Chia T. F., Brouillard R. (2003). "Analysis and biological activities of anthocyanins.". Phytochemistry 64 (5): 923-33. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(03)00438-2.? Wang SY, Jiao H. Scavenging capacity of berry crops on superoxide radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. J Agric Food Chem 2000 Nov;48(11):5677-84.Igarashi K, et al. Preventive effects of dietary cabbage acylated anthocyanins on paraquat-induced oxidative stress in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2000 Aug;64(8):1600-7. Tsuda T. The role of anthocyanins as an antioxidant under oxidative stress in rats. Biofactors 2000;13(1-4):133-9.Zadok D. The effect of anthocyanosid - See more at: http://healinggourmet.com/nutrients-and-health/nutrient-spotlight-anthocyanins/#sthash.6UHMMryo.dpuf

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.


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