Anthocyanins: Antho…What?Fayyaz Alam
There is a growing trend of people who are trying to live a healthier life. While exercise is important, some would argue that eating a balanced diet is the most important aspect of being healthier. You keep hearing all about how your plate should be colorful, as this ensures that you are getting the broadest range of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for being a healthier version of yourself. This is where anthocyanins come in. Anthocyanins are incredible compounds, found in organic elderberry syrup, that offer a wide array of health benefits including improving your cardiovascular health and immune system. By reading on, you can learn all about these amazing health benefits and the best ways to consume anthocyanins.
What are Anthocyanins?
The first question that you may have is “What are anthocyanins?” Anthocyanins are pigments found in various plants including tubers, vegetables, flowers, and fruits. These can be blue, red, or purple, depending on the pH levels of the plant. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that are part of the flavonoids subclass of antioxidants that can be perfect for a healthy diet. You can recognize the bold colors of reds and purples during the fall, when the anthocyanins are responsible for turning the leaves these bold colors. What’s interesting about this is that anthocyanins are not present in leaves all year round, rather they are produced as summer ends and turns into autumn.
You should know that anthocyanins do not directly have a flavor, though they can add an astringent and bitter taste. When it comes to the color of these plants, it is believed that this was an evolutionary adaptation to attract animals to encourage pollination. The animals will eat the plant then passes the seeds to other locations after they digest it.
Research has shown that plants that contain anthocyanins are extremely beneficial to people to consume.
Benefits of Anthocyanins
Foods are rich in the color tend to also be rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are so important to protecting your body that it is important that you have a diet rich in these compounds. In this section, this will take a closer look at some of the many benefits that you can get from consuming foods rich in anthocyanins, like organic elderberry syrup.
There has been research that shows benefit of consuming anthocyanins when it comes to protecting people from cardiovascular disease. According to specific research, people who consumed these anthocyanin rich foods once a week had a significant reduction in their risk for developing and dying from cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease. This is just one of a few studies that showed how beneficial anthocyanins are for your heart health.
Anthocyanins not only have antioxidant property in them; they also have properties that can activate the detoxifying enzymes that are essential in protecting the cells in your body. There is evidence in clinical studies that this can help prevent diseases like cancer cell proliferation, interfere with tumor growth, and various other things that will help prevent and fight against cancer.
Flavonoids such as anthocyanins have been shown to improve cognitive function. These compounds may have the ability to not only enhance memory but it can also prevent declines in mental function that often occurs as people age. There is also be some evidence that anthocyanins can potentially even reverse some age-related deficits that can occur in your working memory.
Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit your health. Inflammation can wreak havoc on the body and can be responsible for various diseases including periodontal disease, arthritis, colitis, etc. Inflammation can also be responsible for pain in the body. The antioxidant properties found in anthocyanins are part of why this compound can regulate the inflammatory response.
As already mentioned, anthocyanins are a subclass of antioxidants. Because of the antioxidant-effect in anthocyanins, you can get an enhanced exercise performance and recovery. In fact, there is direct clinical evidence that anthocyanins will reduce the effects of excess oxygen in the system and reduces the accumulation of radicals that occurs during exercise. It can reduce the muscle damage that naturally occurs during exercise, improving your rate of recovery.
Improved Eye Health
You may also notice an improvement in your vision and your eye health by consuming more anthocyanins, including improved night vision. This is because the anthocyanins fight against the free radicals that can damage the eyes.
Fights Obesity and Diabetes
Early research shows that there is a link between consuming adequate amounts of anthocyanins and the increase in anti-obesity and antidiabetic activity. Not only in vitro (test-tube), but also in vivo (including human) studies show these antioxidants can prevent people from developing a resistance to insulin, improving their plasma lipid profile and can inhibit oxidative stress.
There are a couple of different ways that anthocyanins can improve your immune health. As a flavonoid, anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to promote the production of cytokines that are responsible for regulating the immune responses. It can also help with nutrient absorption and can strengthen the cell membranes so that they are less fragile against invading cells. These are just some of the many benefits that you can gain from consuming more anthocyanins as part of your diet.
How to Consume Anthocyanins
There are foods that are rich in anthocyanins, including:
- Aronia berry
- Acai berry
- Blood oranges
- Red cabbage
Here is a closer look at some of these anthocyanin-rich foods to see how they can benefit you.
Blueberries are great food items not only because this is rich in anthocyanins but also because they are rich in vitamin C. They contain 487 mg/100g of total anthocyanin content. These little berries also contain soluble fiber, something that is extremely beneficial for your digestive health.
Elderberries are particularly rich in anthocyanins, which is incredible for your health. They contain 1375 mg/100g of total anthocyanin content. They can pack quite the nutritional punch for people who consume it. This can give you a boost to your immune health, helping to give you a fighting chance against the cold and flu. It can also help fight against the damage aging does to the skin and acne. Elderberries are filled with various nutrients, including fiber, which can help reduce your blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease. There is even evidence that elderberry supplements, like organic elderberry syrup, can It is recommended that you consume only cooked elderberries or organic elderberries in a syrup form to get the most results without any side effects.
Aronia berries, also known as chokeberries, are dark berries that are rich in many minerals and nutrients as well as antioxidants. They boast the highest total anthocyanin content of all berries, with over 1480 mg/100g of total anthocyanin. This fruit can reduce damage from free-radicals, anticancer effects, improve immune health, and improve your heart health. This can be a great supplement to help prevent a wide array of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, stomach ulcers and other digestive issues, and cancer.
These are only a few of the foods that you can eat to get the anthocyanins that you need to live a healthier life. Antioxidants are not discussed as much as vitamins and nutrients are, but these are essential to helping you be as healthy as possible. It is estimated that the American people consume about 11.6 milligrams of anthocyanins every day, from various sources including fruits. The highest concentrations of anthocyanins can be found in fresh berries, particularly dark colored berries like aronia, elderberry, blueberry, black raspberry, and blackberry.
Worried that you are not getting enough anthocyanins from your diet or do you not like the foods that are highest in this antioxidant? Then, you can invest in supplements that contain natural ingredients like organic elderberry syrup. These should not be used as a replacement for your diet; rather these should be used as a way to improve your diet so that you can live a healthier life. When choosing supplements you want to look for items that are made from extracts of berries. Usually the darker the berries, the higher the levels of anthocyanins. Juices and syrups created from these fruits are usually the best way to maximize your anthocyanin intake.
The more colorful the plate, the healthier it is for you. That is something that nutrition experts keep telling us. The darker the color, the more anthocyanins are in the plant. You want to be sure that you are getting a balanced diet, including consuming the important antioxidants that can prevent various conditions and improve your health. Sometimes you don’t eat as well as you’d like, which is why supplements can be a great addition to your diet to ensure that you get all of the vitamins and nutrients that you need.