The bioflavonoids, known as anthocyanidins, are said to have some amazing health values. Those who are interested in the nutritional makeup of the food that they eat should understand some of the newest science coming out about these kinds of nutritional elements.
What are Anthocyanidins?
Anthocyanidins are the specific chemical compounds that are responsible for the pigmentation of various fruits and vegetables. Some of the most colorful foods have these powerful chemicals packed into them. But the health benefits of anthocyanidins are similar to those of other plant-based chemicals readily available in a wide range of plant foods.
Anthocyanidins and other bioflavonoids are most widely known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are remarkable for their healing power inside the body. These chemicals prevent the oxidization of certain compounds and fight attacks on the body from harmful chemicals. The health benefits of antioxidants include anti-carcinogen qualities, better heart health, and a range of other positive effects. Anthocyanidins in particular have also been shown to have a positive effect on collagen, the tissues under the skin.
Food High in Anthocyanidins
A number of fruits and vegetables have high amounts of anthocyanidins in them. You can most easily spot these powerful antioxidant foods by their bright colors. Here are some of the top anthocyanidin-rich foods on the menu.
- Blueberries - These tiny berries, often eaten on cereal, in baked goods, or with yogurt, carry a powerful blend of anthocyanidins and other antioxidants under their indigo skins.
- Red and Black Grapes - Various varieties of grapes also contain a lot of anthocyanidins. This makes wine a potential health booster in moderation. Jams and jellies also carry the same antioxidants, but with a lot of sugars, which can add some unwanted calories to a meal. Fresh grapes are always a good recommendation.
- Cranberries - These sour berries include a good serving of anthocyanidins. However, many cannot stomach the cranberry without some additional sugar or other complementary flavors. Try a cranberry blend drink, a cranberry sauce or other concoction to use these strongly flavored berries in your diet.
- Raspberries and Blackberries - These colorful berries loaded up with anthocyanidin pigmentation are also a great source of antioxidants, especially when they are in season.
- Red Cabbage - The bright color of red cabbage reflects its high anthocyanidin value. Try this shredded in soups, salads or other dishes.
- Red Onions - These versatile vegetables give flavor to sandwiches, soups, salads and pasta dishes. A good reason to use these for anthocyanidin value is that they are often used raw, where the strength of certain chemicals can be reduced by cooking fruits and vegetables.
- Eggplant - This purple giant of the garden is also a anthocyanidin-rich food. For the best nutritional value, consider roasting the eggplant whole, or using it in another way that includes eating the skin, where antioxidants are located.
These are some of the most popular fresh fruits and vegetables that contain the anthocyanidins that are so prized by nutritional experts and dietary science mavens. For some long-term health benefits, add them to your regular diet.