The Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Purple Foods | #MealsThatHeal
07 Aug

The Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Purple Foods

It’s a scientifically-proven fact that the darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants are to the body, the way rust-proof works on a car – they have the ability to mop up free radicals and keep you looking younger, longer. Thus, dark foods with a purple pigment, such as purple onions, concord grapes, purple cabbage, black mission figs, prunes and blackberries, are known for having amazing healing powers.

The purple pigment in all of these fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure. Resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decreases the pressure in the arteries and allows better circulation. Produce with purple hues contain a variety of polyphenols that can reduce the inflammatory response in the body. In my book Meals That Heal Inflammation, I outline how inflammation is at the root of all major diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and immune dysfunction.

 

Purple Food Smoothie Bowel ~ JulieDaniluk.com

 

Let’s take a deeper look into these dark nutritional superheroes. Here are five reasons to eat more purple foods:

1. Purple foods kill cancer: 
The resveratrol found in purple grapes, cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, and, of course, red wine and grape juice can inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer in animal studies. (1) Other promising studies also show that resveratrol can induce cancer cell death in cases of prostate, breast, skin, liver, lung and blood cancers. The curcumin in turmeric seems to boost its anti-cancer activity so have a glass of pinot noir (the type of wine highest in resveratrol) next time you have curry.

2. Purple foods are ulcer-fighters: 
A 2011 study found that anthocyanins from blackberries reduced stomach ulcer formation in rats. (2) Researchers believe this is because the antioxidants in blackberries prevent oxidation and boost the activity of other important antioxidants, such as glutathione, that are naturally present in the body.

3. Purple foods are good for your liver
: Black rice, which has more anthocyanins per gram than blueberries, is a delicious antioxidant grain that has been found to reduce damage to the liver incurred by excessive alcohol intake. (3)

4. Purple foods are good for the heart
: Black currants can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 13 percent while raising “good” HDL cholesterol. (4) Black currants and bilberries have more anthocyanins than blueberries. Wild raw berries have higher antioxidant content than fresh raw berries or frozen varieties.

5. Purple foods prevent urinary tract infections: 
Vegetables such as purple cauliflower, purple carrots and purple cabbage contain the same plant pigment, anthocyanin, that is responsible for the UTI-fighting power of cranberries. (5) Lab studies show that anthocyanin compounds fight H. pylori, the bacteria that promotes stomach ulcers and urinary tract infections. (6)

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References:

1. Resveratrol Inhibits Intestinal Tumorigenesis and Modulates Host-Defense-Related Gene Expression in an Animal Model of Human Familial Adenomatous Polyposis: Yann Schneider, Benoit Duranton, Francine Goss, Ren Schleiffer, Nikolaus Seiler & Francis Raul: Nutrition and Cancer Volume 39 Issue 1 2001
 
2. Antiulcer Activity of Anthocyanins from Rubus coreanus via Association with Regulation of the Activity of Matrix Metalloproteinase: Sun-Joong Kim, Hyun Ju Lee, Bum-Soo Kim, Dongho Lee, Sung-Joon Lee, Sang-Ho Yoo, and Hyo Ihl Chang: J. Agric. Food Chem., 2011, 59 (21), pp 11786–11793: DOI: 10.1021/jf104192a September 26, 2011
 
3. Effect of Anthocyanin-Rich Extract from Black Rice (Oryza sativa L. Japonica) on Chronically Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage in Rats: Zhaohua Hou , Peiyou Qin and Guixing Ren Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences No. 80 South Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing100081, P. R. China J. Agric. Food Chem., 2010, 58 (5), pp 3191–3196 DOI: 10.1021/jf904407x February 9, 2010
 
4. Anthocyanin supplementation improves serum LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations associated with the inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein in dyslipidemic subjects: Yu Qin, Min Xia, Jing Ma, YuanTao Hao, Jing Liu, HaiYing Mou, Li Cao, and WenHua Ling: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
 
5. Anthocyanins—More Than Nature's Colours: Izabela Konczak and Wei Zhang: J Biomed Biotechnol. 2004 Dec 1; 2004(5): 239–240.
 
6. Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention: Shirley Zafra-Stone, Taharat Yasmin, Manashi Bagchi, Archana Chatterjee, Joe A. Vinson and Debasis Bagchi: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research Special Issue: Berry Fruits: Volume 51, Issue 6, pages 675–683, June 2007
 
 

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