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Anthocyanins – Food List, Health Benefits

Do you ever wonder how these can benefit your health while looking at ripe berries? Well, Anthocyanins are antioxidant-rich pigments with enormous health benefits, typically found in berries (e.g., black currants, elderberries, honeyberries, blueberries, strawberries) and red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables.

This article will give you an insight into Anthocyanins, their health benefits, and much more. If you are the one who wants to know why these berries are essential in your diet, this is a must-read for you.

Which Foods Contain Anthocyanins?

Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that can impart color to plants and protect them against harsh temperatures. They are part of the flavonoid group capable of fighting against free radicals that can be harmful and increase the risk for certain diseases.

Here is the list of some anthocyanin-rich foods;

● Acai berry

● Honeyberry

● Blackberry

● Blueberry

● Strawberry

● Cranberry

● Pomegranate

● Red currants

● Red onion

● Concord grapes

● Eggplant (skin)

● Plums (skin)

● Red cabbage

● Tart cherries

● Tomato

● Purple cauliflower

● Purple sweet potato

How to Grow Honeyberry and Haskapa?

Honeyberries (Lonicera caerulea) are part of the same family as blooming honeysuckle; the difference is that they are edible. Haskapa is a Japanese variety with the highest anthocyanin levels of all other berries.

Soil

The soil must be completely dug in with a recommended pH range of 5.0 to 7.0.

Position

Honeyberries grow best in locations that have more sun exposure in the morning.

Frost Tolerance

Honeyberries can tolerate cold to -40c; they can bloom and grow earlier than the Japanese variety known as Haskapa.

Feeding

It is more convenient to cultivate honeyberries by spreading a 1-inch layer of manure on the root zones of plants.

Spacing

Single Plants: 4’11” (1.50m)

Rows: 3’3″ (1.00m) with 9’10” (3.00m) row gap

Sow and Plant

Preferably, plant them in spring when plants grow from dormancy. To deter the feeding of plants by rabbits, use wire cages and covers.

Harvesting

To harvest, wait till the fruit is blue from the inside as honeyberries, if picked early, can not taste as they should. Honeyberry is easy to store in the refrigerator and is best for making wine and jams.

Health Benefits of Anthocyanins

Many pieces of research support the use of anthocyanins to help protect against certain diseases. Anthocyanins act as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial, improving vision, supporting collagen, anti-cancer, improving capillary stability, and increasing Vitamin C levels.

Let’s have a look at the prominent health benefits of Anthocyanins;

Protection Against Heart Disease

In 2010, a report in Nutrition Reviews concluded that Anthocyanin proved to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels that lead to heart disease. Having one to two servings of Anthocyanin rich food per day gives protection against high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.

Anthocyanin also possesses benefits for protection against diabetes and pancreatic disorders. Many studies show that anthocyanins lower blood glucose by enhancing insulin resistance, improving insulin secretion, and protecting beta cells.

  1. Improved Immune Function

Anthocyanin offers protection against free radicals and anti-inflammatory effects and helps enhance the production of cytokines that improve immunity. They also reduce estrogenic activity and help regulate enzyme production, improving nutrient absorption and making the cell membrane less weak.

Protection Against Cancer

Anthocyanin can potentially decrease the chances of cancer due to its amazing anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. In 2010, a study published in Phytotherapy Research showed evidence that anthocyanins impede the potential growth of breast cancer cells.

Enhanced Vision

Anthocyanin helps to improve night vision and protect the eyes from harmful free radicals. According to one study, intake of black currant-rich anthocyanins shows enhanced night vision in adults. There are two main mechanisms by which anthocyanins can boost vision, anti-inflammatory properties and rhodopsin regeneration.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Concerning cognitive function, anthocyanins can improve memory and prevent age-related mental decline like dementia, etc. They work by decreasing neuroinflammation, anticipating synaptic signaling, and enhancing blood flow to the brain.

Parting Thoughts

Though more research is needed to back up many of the claims surrounding anthocyanins, there’s no doubt that these powerful pigments offer serious health benefits. So if you want to improve your health or enjoy some delicious berries, add honeyberries and other foods high in anthocyanins to your diet. And for the freshest, most flavorful honeyberries, head to the Honeyberry Shop today!

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