Which foods contain anthocyanins? Anthocyanins are found in high concentrations in blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries, as well as in aubergine (in the skin), red cabbage, cranberries and cherries.
Anthocyanins can protect the human body from harmful substances called free radicals and protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. Let’s take a closer look at which foods in life contain anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are often used to resist female aging. Anthocyanins are a powerful antioxidant. Common staple foods containing anthocyanins are: purple sweet potato, black rice, purple corn, sorghum, sweet potato, etc. Common vegetables containing anthocyanins are: purple cabbage, eggplant, perilla, carrots, beets, etc.
Anthocyanins are mainly found in the flowers and fruits of food. Blueberries, blackberries, black medlars, blackcurrants, red medlars, cranberries, mulberries, edulis, red raspberries and other fruits all contain anthocyanins. Very high.
Anthocyanins give fruits and vegetables a blue-purple color. Anthocyanins may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may even enhance memory.
Common fruits and vegetables rich in anthocyanins include blueberries, black grapes, raisins, blackberries, plums, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple cauliflower and purple potatoes.
1.Improved Anti-oxidant Capacity
The most important accelerator of skin aging is UV radiation exposure. A single exposure to intense radiation triggers various inflammatory pathways and oxidative damage, while repeated exposure leads to accelerated skin aging (photo-aging), thickened skin, and precancerous lesions. In addition, repeated exposure causes excessive formation of typically necessary enzymes called metalloproteinases (MMP), which when present at abnormally elevated levels, degrade skin collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles (Rojo 2013).
Anthocyanins reduce MMP production (Wang 2008). They also protect against UV skin damage by inactivating highly reactive molecules such as free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed during sun exposure that start a chain reaction producing significant cell and tissue damage. As well, they increase levels of Phase II detoxification enzymes (anti-oxidant proteins) including glutathione S-transferase, that help eliminate toxins, and reduce lipid peroxidation (fat damage) and DNA damage that can trigger cancer formation.
Chronic inflammation affects many people and is a concern because it can activate processes that initiate cancer. Higher internal production of two inflammatory biomarker proteins, nuclear factor-kappa (NF-KB) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) commonly accompanies many cancers (Wang 2008). Factors contributing to inflammation include low anti-oxidant status, nutrient deficiencies, increased toxin load and free radical damage.
Higher dietary anthocyanin intake is associated with lower inflammatory biomarkers indicating oxidative stress according to a population study including 2375 US adults (Cassidy 2015). In addition preclinical studies found anthocyanins reduce NF-KB and COX-2 levels (Wang 2008). These results suggest the anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanins are key to their health protective and anti-cancer effects, respectively.
Cancer is a metabolic disease that thrives when glucose metabolism is compromised such that people with diabetes are more likely to develop many forms of cancer (Giovannucci 2010). Anthocyanins may reduce this risk partly through glucose metabolism effects. In fact, people who eat the most anthocyanins are 15% less likely to develop Type II diabetes based on a population study of over 200,000 adults followed from 1980-2003, (Jacques 2013). Other studies show anthocyanin-rich food intake is associated with lower insulin and inflammation levels in woman aged 18-76 years (Jennings 2014) and may help reduce obesity (Krikorian 2010), while supplementation with anthocyanins improves blood lipid (fat) levels, enhances antioxidant capacity, and prevents insulin resistance in Type II diabetics (Dan 2015).
4.Specific Anti-Cancer Effects
Populations studies report that men who eat vegetables, fruit and berries (rich in anthocyanins) more than 27 times per month, are 8-10 % less likely to die from any cause compared with men who don’t eat that much. In addition, eating vegetables, fruits and berries is associated with living longer and less risk of dying from cancer or stroke (Hjartåker 2014).
Anthocyanins inhibit nuclear factor-kB activation, thus reducing pro-inflammatory substances linked to the initiation of cancer (Karlsen 2007). However, they also prevent existing cancer growth.
Anthocyanins reduce MMP production (Wang 2008). They also protect against UV skin damage by inactivating highly reactive molecules such as free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed during sun exposure that start a chain reaction producing significant cell and tissue damage. As well, they increase levels of Phase II detoxification enzymes (anti-oxidant proteins) including glutathione S-transferase, that help eliminate toxins, and reduce lipid peroxidation (fat damage) and DNA damage that can trigger cancer formation (Wang 2008).
The risk of toxicity from the food supply is minute given the low bioavailability of anthocyanins. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has established an acceptable daily intake of 2.5 mg/kg per day for anthocyanins from grape-skin extracts but not for anthocyanins in general.
Anthocyanins are a group of polyphenolic pigments that are ubiquitously found in the plant kingdom. In plants, anthocyanins play a role not only in reproduction, by attracting pollinators and seed dispersers, but also in protection against various abiotic and biotic stresses.
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