A Purple Patch of Corn
If a plant based food is purple in color itâ€™s good for you; Nutrients in Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables Include: Lutein, resveratrol, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, and quercetin. These nutrients are known to support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, increase immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, reduce inflammation, fight tumor growth, and limit the commotion of cancer cells.
Purple corn is a Peruvian Superfood that could be an integral component in anyoneâ€™s diet; a food known to provide energy and essential nutrients. Purple corn is botanically the same species as regular yellow corn. Yet by a spiral of nature, this corn crops kernels with one of the deepest shades of purple found anywhere in the plant â€œkingdom.â€
Examinations have shown that purple corn contains cell-protecting antioxidants with the ability to inhibit carcinogen-induced tumors in rats. Many plant-derived substances are believed to show these properties, but few have also demonstrated high anti-oxidant capabilities as purple corn.
What are Anthocyanins?
Purple Corn contains the largest group of natural, water-soluble tints in the plant world, known as â€œanthocyaninsâ€ (1). These anthocyanins; are responsible for the purple, violet, and red colors attending many plants. Anthocyanins belong to an even larger class of plant chemicals known as flavonoids and are found in diverse plants, including many food plants (2).
Research conducted at the Horticultural Sciences Department of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas; determined that the mean anthocyanin content of whole, fresh purple corn from Peru was 16.4 mg/g, which was much higher than fresh blueberries (1.3-3.8 mg/g). The kernel pericarp held by far the highest concentration of anthocyanins, contributing 45% of the overall content. More fascinating, the in vitro antiradical capacity of purple corn extract was greater than that of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L., Ericaceae), which have shown higher antioxidant values than many other commercial food plants. (3)
Looking closer at purple corn, the most rich anthocyanin found is called; â€œC3Gâ€ (3-O-? -D-glucoside) (4), also known as cyanidin-3-O-?-glucopyranoside, (5) has been keeping researchers very busy lately. In a number of trials designed to assess the possible health benefits of this anthocyanin, one study after another has proven its antioxidant strength.
Oxidative stress is described; as a state in which there is an surplus of oxygen-based free radicals. To avoid the impairment, they can cause to cells, the body harvests antioxidants to inactivate these free radicals. If they prove scarce, however, the body suffers from oxidation of lipids, proteins, and nucleotide bases. In models of oxidative stress using oxidative injury to the liver, male rats fed a diet containing 0.2% C3G (2 g/kg of feed) for 2 weeks beforehand showed significantly less liver injury compared to the control group. (6
Types of Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables Include: Beetroot, Black currants, Black salsify, Blackberries, Blueberries, Dried plums, Eggplant, Elderberries, Grapes, Plums, Pomegranates, Prunes, Purple Belgian endive, Purple Potatoes, Purple asparagus, Purple cabbage, Purple carrots, Purple figs, Purple grapes, Purple peppers, purple corn and Raisins.
- Bridle P, Timberlake CF. Anthocyanins as natural food colours â€” selected aspects. Food Chem. 1997;58(1-2):103-109.
- Mazza G, Miniati E. Anthocyanins in Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1993.
- Cevallos-Casals BA, Cisneros-Zevallos L. Stoichiometric and kinetic studies of phenolic antioxidants from Andean purple corn and red-fleshed sweet potato. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(11):3313-3319.
- Nakatani N, Fukuda H, Fuwa H. Major anthocyanin of Bolivian purple corn Zea mays. Agric Biol Chem. 1979;43(2):389-392.
- Amorini AM, Fazzina G, Lazzarino G, et al. Activity and mechanism of the antioxidant properties of cyanidin-3-O-b-glucopyranoside. Free Radic Res. 2001;35:953-966.
- Tsuda T, Horio F, Kitoh J, Osawa T. Protective effects of dietary cyanidin 3-O-b-D-glucoside on ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1999;368(2):361-366.
- Tsuda T, Horio F, Kato Y, Osawa T. Cyanidin 3-O-b-D-glucoside attenuates the hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury through a decrease in the neutrophil chemoattractant production in rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2002;48(2):134-141.