Nutrient to Know: Anthocyanins by Dana Angelo White in Nutrients to Know, September 10, 2009
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Berries are brimming with these cancer-fighting antioxidants, but you can find them in veggies, too. Are you getting some in your diet?
What Are They?
Anthocyanins are pigments that give fruits, vegetables and flowers their red, purple and blue colors. Researchers have found more than 300 different kinds of this antioxidant in plants. Experts are still looking into which foods contain the heartiest doses, but at this point, berries appear to be the front runner. To get the full spectrum, however, eat a variety of different foods.
Why Are They Good For You?
Although hard to pronounce, anthocyanins are one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants. They travel throughout the body to protect our blood vessels and nervous system. That’s good news for your heart and brain. There’s also research that shows they may help ward off diabetes, bolster eyesight and lower risks of some types of cancer. You can’t go wrong there.
Where Can I Find Them?
Berries like acai, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, red grapes, cranberries and red currants are among the most potent sources. You’ll also find anthocyanins in red cabbage, sweet potatoes, red onions and eggplant. Right now, there’s no daily recommended amount and no risk from getting too much from food, so eat up!