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Anthocyanins - the rising stars of health and nutrition: How to include them in your diet

on June 12, 2024

In the last two decades, anthocyanins have been gathering massive momentum in the health and nutrition world.

According to Pubmed, 18,000 studies on these plant bioactives have been published in the last 20 years, compared to just 1,500 in the previous two decades.

These powerful compounds, responsible for the vibrant red, purple, and blue hues in many fruits and vegetables, are gaining recognition for their impressive health benefits. 

From enhancing heart health to improving cognitive function, anthocyanins are proving to be much more than just natural colorants.

In this article, we’ll explore why anthocyanins - the hero ingredient in CurraNZ - are making waves and highlight the best sources of purple anthocyanins you should consider incorporating into your diet.

What Are Anthocyanins?

Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, a class of compounds with antioxidant properties. They are pigments found in the tissues of various plants, contributing to the rich colors of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. These pigments play a crucial role in protecting plants from environmental stresses, such as UV radiation and pathogens.

Health Benefits of Anthocyanins

  1. Powerful Antioxidants

Anthocyanins are known for their potent antioxidant properties, which help combat oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress, caused by free radicals, can lead to cellular damage and contribute to aging and leading causes of health issues. By neutralizing free radicals, anthocyanins help protect cells and support overall health.

  1. Heart Health

Numerous studies, including those on CurraNZ, have linked anthocyanin consumption to improved heart health. These compounds help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve blood lipid profiles. They also promote vascular health by enhancing the flexibility and strength of blood vessels, which is particularly important for heart health later in life.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Anthocyanins have been shown to possess strong anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce inflammation and alleviate related symptoms.

  1. Cognitive Function

Emerging research suggests that anthocyanins may play a role in enhancing cognitive function and protecting against age-related cognitive decline. These compounds help improve blood flow to the brain, reduce neuroinflammation and support neuronal health.

  1. Gut Health

One of the hottest topics in nutrition and medicine right now is gut health - and polyphenols are essential sources of food for the gut microbiome. As well as providing important fuel for microbiota, polyphenols improve beneficial bacteria and reduce negative bacteria, while reducing inflammation associated with gut disorders. 

Best Sources of Purple Anthocyanins

Purple anthocyanins are particularly abundant in certain fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the best sources you can add to your diet:

 

  1. Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, particularly known for their high concentration of these potent antioxidants. They are versatile and can be consumed fresh, dried, or as a supplement in extract form.

  1. Blueberries

Blueberries are widely recognized for their health benefits, largely due to their high anthocyanin content. They are delicious, easy to add to various dishes, and available year-round.

  1. Blackberries

Blackberries are another excellent source of anthocyanins. They offer a slightly tart flavor and can be enjoyed fresh, in smoothies, or as a topping for yogurt and desserts.

  1. Purple Grapes

Purple grapes, especially the skins, are rich in anthocyanins. Consuming whole grapes or drinking grape juice can provide a significant boost of these beneficial compounds.

  1. Purple Sweet Potatoes

Purple sweet potatoes are not only visually striking but also packed with anthocyanins. They can be roasted, mashed, or used in various recipes to add both color and nutrition.

  1. Eggplants

Eggplants, particularly their skins, contain a good amount of anthocyanins. They are a versatile vegetable that can be grilled, baked, or added to stews and curries.

  1. Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that provides a hearty dose of anthocyanins. It can be eaten raw in salads, fermented as sauerkraut, or cooked in various dishes.

How to incorporate Anthocyanins into your diet

Adding anthocyanin-rich foods to your diet is simple and delicious. Here are a few tips:

  • Smoothies: Blend blueberries, blackberries, and purple grapes for a nutrient-packed smoothie. (Tip: Add a capsule of CurraNZ whole into your blender!)
  • Salads: Add slices of red cabbage and blackcurrants to your salads for a burst of color and health benefits.
  • Snacks: Enjoy a handful of fresh or dried blackcurrants or blueberries as a healthy snack.
  • Meals: Incorporate eggplant and purple sweet potatoes into your main dishes.

Conclusion

Anthocyanins are gaining well-deserved attention for their extensive health benefits and powerful antioxidant properties.

By including a variety of purple anthocyanin-rich foods in your diet, you can enhance your overall health, energy and well-being.

Whether through fruits, vegetables, or innovative supplements like CurraNZ, harnessing the power of anthocyanins can be a delicious and effective way to support your health journey.

Each capsule of CurraNZ contains 105mg of anthocyanins, the equivalent of a large handful of fresh New Zealand blackcurrants. 

By staying informed about the latest nutritional science and making conscious dietary choices, you can take proactive steps towards a healthier, more vibrant life.

 

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