New evidence ‘purple’ fruit & veg may lower CVD risk.
A new systematic review from researchers based at Northumbria University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, concludes that fruits and vegetables with the beneficial properties of anthocyanins may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. What’s more this makes them easy to identify.
Of course, all phytonutrients contained in fruit and vegetables are incredibly important for our health, but anthocyanins are also easy to spot because they provide the plant pigment that gives reddish/purple/blue foods their colour. Plants produce anthocyanins as a protective mechanism against the environment, such as cold temperature, drought and ultraviolet sunlight. Fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and elderberries are good examples. In earlier laboratory research (as well as in human and animal studies) anthocyanins have already been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, as well as boosting eye health and mental focus. Anthocyanins also interact with other phytonutrients, so their benefits can extend even further when we consume a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
Top anthocyanins food sources
Fruits: black currents, blueberries, black berries, elderberries, purple grapes and plums
Vegetables: red cabbage, purple sweet potato, aubergine, purple asparagus and beetroot
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