Purple Phytochemicals

March 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

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Purple, as a color in nature, is rare. It is the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow. It is a color people either hate or love. The phytonutrients that provide this color in plants are best known for their powerful antioxidant properties.

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Resveratrol is likely a phytochemical that most of us are familiar with. Wine is the most common source of resveratrol and a subject of many studies. Resveratrol, besides being an antioxidant, also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also thought that resveratrol may help slow cognitive decline. In animals, resveratrol was found to be neuroprotective. One study showed that it increased blood flow in the brain, though this did not lead to an increase in performing difficult tasks. Resveratrol may prevent atherosclerosis. It is currently being studied as a possible treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. In animal studies, it has been shown to be effective in improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. It is possible that resveratrol may be involved in the prevention and treatment of cancer cells, though this is in the early stages of studies.

 

Anthocyanins are another phytochemical that gives plants their purple color. Anthocyanins are known to improve vision, inhibit nitric oxide production and protect neurons.

 

Proanthocyanidins, another purple phytochemical, inhibits inflammation in the arterial wall, inhibits atherosclerosis, acts as an antioxidant, and may also protect against urinary tract infections.

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Blue/Purple Plant Foods:

 

Blackberries

Blueberries

Eggplant

Plums or prunes

Purple Potatoes

Purple Sweet Potatoes

Purple Grapes

Raisins

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