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Purple Produce Can Save Your Life

April 29, 2009

The following is an excerpt from an article published recently in the Chicago Tribune called “The color purple: Disease fighter” by Janet Helm. Janet does a great job of describing the incredible properties of purple phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that help fight disease and heal your body. If you are not eating enough purple foods, including berries and grapes, you should definitely consider eating them every day with Juice Plus+ Vineryard Blend. You can find out more about Juice Plus+ Vineyard Blend here

The dark pigments responsible for the purplish tones are called
anthocyanins, a type of phytonutrient, or plant compound, hailed for its
potential disease-fighting benefits. Studies suggest anthocyanins may help
reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Some
evidence indicates these purple pigments may protect our brain as we age.

Anthocyanins belong to the flavonoids family of plant compounds. They are
among the most potent of all phytonutrients and have gained the attention of
scientists worldwide.

“If I could only eat one color per day, it would be purple,” said James
Joseph, a neuroscientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on
Aging at Tufts University and co-author of “The Color Code: A Revolutionary
Eating Plan for Optimum Health.” “There is more data on purple than any
other color right now.”

The most concentrated natural sources of anthocyanins are blue and red
fruits, including blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, Concord
grapes and lesser known berries such as chokeberries, elderberries and
bilberries.

Studies with these deeply hued fruits have shown promising health benefits,
but scientists are investigating ways to boost the level of anthocyanins in
commonly eaten foods to offer even greater health-promoting potential. Among
the findings:

-Researchers in Great Britain used genes from snapdragons to generate higher
production of anthocyanins in tomatoes, which resulted in intensely purple
tomatoes with anthocyanins levels comparable to blackberries and
blueberries. The life span of cancer-susceptible mice was significantly
extended when the diet included the purple tomatoes compared with the normal
red tomatoes.

-Anthocyanins from purple corn were the most potent in inhibiting the growth
of colon cancer cells compared to the other vegetables and fruits evaluated
by Ohio State University researchers.

-Rats who ate black raspberries – which are particularly rich in
anthocyanins – were 50 percent less prone to developing cancerous tumors in
the esophagus. The study, also conducted at Ohio State University, found
that the berries helped fight cancer by reducing inflammation, suppressing
growth of cancer cells and triggering cancer cell death.

Despite the hot trend and health-promoting potential of the color purple, an
analysis by the Produce for Better Health Foundation found that only 3
percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S. are from the
purple or blue category.

With the growing interest in anthocyanins, you’ll begin to see pills and
products fortified with fruit extracts, but Joseph recommended sticking with
the real thing.

“You’re better off with the whole fruit or vegetable.”

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