What is Red Cabbage Anthocyanin?
Red Cabbage Anthocyanin (Brassica oleracea L.) is an excellent source of food colorant. This study aimed to evaluate the anthocyanin pigment contents and profiles from seven red cabbage cultivars at two maturity stages (8 weeks apart) and evaluate their color characteristics and behavior under acidic and neutral pH. Anthocyanin concentrations ranged from 1111 to 1780 mg Cy3G/100 g DM and did not increase with time. Cultivar and maturation affected pigment profile. Some varieties accumulated ≥30% of diacylated pigments, and proportions of monoacylated pigments decreased with time.
Red cabbage is from the brassica family, as are all cabbages. For clarification, red cabbage and purple cabbage are the same thing, their appearance may be different depending on the pH of the soil they are grown in. They can appear dark red in acidic soils, dark purple in neutral soil, and greenish to yellow in alkaline soil. These colour changes are directly related to anthocyanins, which are known to be changeable with pH. When cooked they normally turn purple and need adjusting with acidic ingredients such as vinegar or acidic fruit.
There have been 36 anthocyanins found in red cabbage. Approximately 80% of them are acylated, which are supposedly the more stable forms of anthocyanins.
Red Cabbage Anthocyanin
Summer and Autumn
Red Cabbage Anthocyanin benefits:
Heart disease continues to remain the number one cause of death in the U.S. and even globally according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).(1)(2)
Heart disease can come in many forms and has a multitude of causes. However, chronic inflammation is connected to each of the causes. Inflammation is our body’s response to foreign invaders. It actually protects the tissues in our body when something goes wrong (i.e. a cut, a bacteria, a virus, etc.)
The problem arises when the inflammation becomes chronic. Alongside its attack on invaders, it also attacks surrounding tissue. The process becomes one of destruction and repairing. This can lead to disease.
Red cabbage anthocyanin have anti-inflammatory properties. Research is proving that diets rich in fruits and vegetables help to lower the risks of heart disease. In fact, berries in particular, which are a high source of anthocyanins, are a recommended addition to a heart-healthy diet.(3)
Cancer is a consistent 2nd place in the leading causes of death, so looking at it warrants equal attention.
As mentioned earlier, anthocyanins are easy to spot because they are what cause a plant to have those vibrant colors. The bright reds, blues, and purples are actually an adaptation of the plant to protect itself from the sun. This happens at the cellular level.
These same protective genes in the plant are what provide us a bit of protection at the cellular level. Anthocyanins improve the activity of these genes and subdue the inflammation and tumor activity response in our body.
Another way that anthocyanins are your secret weapon against cancer is that they activate apoptosis. This natural, body defense system causes the cancer cell to commit suicide. The response helps to control the inflammatory condition, which once again is a major culprit in causing and feeding disease.
Older woman in kitchen with fruits vegetables
Fruits and veggies help enhance memory
Our brains are actually capable of producing new cells well into old age. Losing memory does not have to be a part of normal aging. However, as with most things we need to be purposeful about protecting and improving our mental abilities.
This is where adding red cabbage anthocyanin to our diet comes in. Postmenopausal women, in particular, should take note of this. Deficits in estrogen can cause a whole host of issues, including memory impairment.
Several studies looking at the effects of anthocyanin supplementation indicated that memory and learning were enhanced.(4)(5) This was even the case when high oxidative stress, which leads to early aging, was present.(6)
Adding natural anthocyanins or a supplement including this secret weapon is an easy way to stay “sharp” as you age.
4.Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is another one of the “biggies” in regards to causes of death. Its prevalence continues to rise globally thanks to unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity.
A person with diabetes becomes more at risk for heart attack, kidney failure, many infections, and even blindness. In addition, the burden it places on a country’s healthcare system, thanks to medical costs and missed work, is distressing.
However, our little secret weapon – anthocyanins – gives hope for prevention and improvement regarding several conditions associated with diabetes. A study looking at the effects of supplementation with a blueberry and bilberry extract found that improvements were made in mice that were hyperglycemic and insulin sensitive. This extract also reduced the glucose concentration in blood.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there are 415 million adults with diabetes and it is estimated that by 2040 that number will rise to a staggering 642 million.(8) Increasing your intake of anthocyanin red cabbage, either by eating more fruits and vegetables rich in this nutrient or by taking a supplement, might stop you from becoming a part of that statistic.
Foods high in anthocyanins for weight loss
Our media is flooded with tricks, tips, pills, surgeries, and special diets that promise to be the answer to our overweight problems. However, the percentage of obesity in adults and children continues to climb. This is concerning since obesity is a tremendous risk factor for many life-threatening conditions.
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