Eyes, Heart, Immune | August 18, 2018 | Author: Naturopath
If you needed another reason you should eat your fruits and vegetables, then Anthocyanins might be that reason. Red, blue and purple, those highly coloured fruits and vegetables that not only bring to life a boring meal, also offer a variety of health benefits, from eye, to heart and anti-cancer. The colour of these foods is because of a pigment called anthocyanin, a naturally occurring glycoside from the flavonoid family of phytochemicals (plant chemicals), and considered one of the most important group of chemicals found in food.
So, what is so good Anthocyanins?
Anthocyanins have been shown to exhibit a multitude of health effects. Studies have shown they offer antimicrobial protection, are antioxidant and protect us against various diseases.
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death among men and women. Epidemiological studies suggest increasing the intake of anthocyanins may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Antioxidant activity is one way they are deemed to help, but it is also thought that anthocyanins may regulate different signaling pathways involved in the development of CVD. Further evaluation for their use as protection of and prevention against the development of CVD is suggested.
Women who eat three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week may lower their risk of having a heart attack by improving blood flow and countering the build-up of plaque. 
See better, see clearer and see at night. Human studies showed the anthocyanin pigments from black currents and bilberries significantly enhanced night vision, vision adaptation and vision acuity. This is due to the anthocyanins stimulating the regeneration of rhodopsin in the back of the eye amongst other areas. It is also believed the antioxidant effect may play therapeutic role in the prevention and protection against ocular diseases.
Anthocyanins offer anti-inflammatory effects and help boost production of cytokines that regulate the immune responses.
Eat Sweet Potato and protect your brain
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several neurodegenerative disorders.
Oxidative stress is fundamentally an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through counteraction by antioxidants.
One study from Korea performed on the brain tissue of mice, found that administration of isolated anthocyanins from purple sweet potato enhanced cognitive performance and repressed lipid peroxidation.
Protect your body from premature aging and age- related disease by incorporating plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet. Anthocyanins may protect DNA from damage and lipid peroxidation. Anthocyanins as antioxidants help to prevent free radical damage – the damage associated with aging and disease – oxidative stress.
Eat your berries to help with weight loss and protect from weight loss!
Anthocyanins may play a role in decreasing obesity by producing a decrease in weight and adipose tissue. The antioxidant activity can also protect the body in weight loss – as accumulated toxins are released from fat cells. Fat cells can be a storehouse of toxicity and when people lose weight those toxins are released. Anthocyanins can protect the body from the negative effect of these toxins.
Other areas of support include:
Another interesting fact Anthocyanins have their use as natural alternatives to artificial colours used to enhance the appearance of food.
You can buy anthocyanins in supplement form – bilberries for eye health for example. Always choose a reputable rand.
Berries, currants, grapes, and some tropical fruits have high anthocyanins content. Red to purplish blue-colored leafy vegetables, grains, roots, and tubers are the edible vegetables that contain a high level of anthocyanins. The difference in colour or hew is due to the type of anthocyanins it contains, which is why some foods come in a variety of colours.
Fruits - Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, elderberries, mulberries, strawberries, pomegranate, red grapes and black currents.
Vegetables - Purple corn, purple sweet potato, red cabbage, red onions, beetroot and eggplant.
Nuts - Almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios and roasted peanuts.
Herbs - Basil, rosemary, sage, mint and dill.
Other - Green tea and cocoa beans.
Anthocyanins are phytochemicals found in colourful fruits and vegetables. The colour comes from the various types of anthocyanins present in the food.
Anthocyanins help keep us healthy due to their antioxidant capacity to fight free radical damage, thereby reducing the signs of age and age-related disease.
Researched has revealed anthocyanins help fight heart disease, cancer, memory loss and neurological disorders.
Henry, Osiecki; The Nutrient Bible 9th Edition, Bio Concepts, AG Publishing; QLD, Australia
Anthocyanins and Human Health: An In Vitro Investigative Approach https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/
Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28970777
Health Benefits of Anthocyanins and Their Encapsulation for Potential Use in Food Systems: A Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25745811
Effect of processing on phenolic antioxidants of fruits, vegetables, and grains--a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915381
Anthocyanins as a potential therapy for diabetic retinopathy.
Anthocyanins in cardiovascular disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22211184
Metabolite profiling of red and blue potatoes revealed cultivar and tissue specific patterns for anthocyanins and other polyphenols. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28664422
Antiobesity Effects of Anthocyanins in Preclinical and Clinical Studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28785373