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Posted by: Chloe, Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 4:17pm
From today's NY Times

Young women who eat plenty of blueberries and strawberries may have a reduced risk of heart attack, a new study has found.

The reason, researchers believe, is that those fruits, like other red and blue fruits and vegetables, have high concentrations of anthocyanin, a flavonoid that may help lower blood pressure and improve blood vessel function.

Beginning in 1991, researchers at Harvard tracked more than 100,000 women ages 25 to 42 with food-frequency questionnaires every four years through 2009. They recorded 405 fatal and nonfatal heart attacks in them over the period. The study was published last week in the journal Circulation.

After adjusting for many dietary, behavioral and physiological risk factors, the scientists found that compared with those below the 20th percentile in anthocyanin intake, those above the 80th percentile were 32 percent less likely to have a heart attack. Other flavonoids were not significantly associated with reduced risk.

Women who ate more than three servings of blueberries or strawberries a week — the most common anthocyanin-rich foods consumed — had a 34 percent lower risk than those who ate less.

“This is not a magic bullet,” said the lead author, Eric B. Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard. “Blueberries and strawberries stand out among health foods, but there’s a lot we know about healthy diet, and this is just one component of that.”
Posted by: Amazone I., Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 5:32pm; Reply: 1
thanx for the reminder Chloé... it's also all about *salvestroles*  ;) :D(smarty)
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 6:03pm; Reply: 2
I see that onions are also high in the food chemical they're studying here. I really don't understand why these food studies are so focused on fruits rather than veggies!
Posted by: Chloe, Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 10:28pm; Reply: 3
Quoted from ruthiegirl
I see that onions are also high in the food chemical they're studying here. I really don't understand why these food studies are so focused on fruits rather than veggies!


Someone obviously funds these studies....so the focus really has to do with who is invested in
the published results.

Thought this was interesting info

What are anthocyanins?

Anthocyanins (Etymology: Greek. anthos = Flower, kyáneos = purple) are water-soluble pigments reflecting the red to blue range of the visible spectrum. The colour depends on the acidity of the surrounding medium.

Anthocyanins exist only in plants with bright colors in everything from flower petals to autumn leaves and edible fruits or vegetables. Chemical identification studies reveal that there are as many as 600 unique anthocyanins in nature.

How are anthocyanins synthesized in the plant?

Here's a brief botany summary. Anthocyanins are formed from chemical raw materials in the plant, using the amino acid phenylalanine, or another chemical called malonyl coenzyme A. These two substrates join to form the base material for anthocyanins called "chalcones" that lead to the production of anthocyanins after a series of enzyme steps.

The parent material of anthocyanins is a group of similar structures named "anthocyanidins" or "proanthocyanidins" which contain no sugar molecules. When sugars become attached, an anthocyanin glycoside is formed, taking the characteristic shape of anthocyanins.

When first isolated by chemists, many anthocyanins were named after the colorful flowers from which they were extracted, such as petunidin (petunia), rosinidin (rose) and peonidin (peonies).

The large class of antioxidant cyanidins is also anthocyanins – all these compounds belong to the group of compounds called flavonoids within the super-family of antioxidants named phenolics or polyphenols.

What is the purpose of anthocyanins in a plant?

Anthocyanins exist mainly to preserve the regeneration of the plant. In flowers, the colorful anthocyanins of petals attract pollinators whereas in fruits, like brightly colored berries, they reside in the skin to attract animals that eat the fruit and later disperse the seeds in their droppings. This is nature's efficient way of symbiosis between a plant and feeding animal.

Anthocyanins also serve a protective role much like a "sunscreen" by absorbing the ultraviolet light that plants face from constant sun exposure.

This "sunscreen" function is thought to be the reason why many deciduous plants turn red in autumn. When green chlorophylls break down, and as leaves begin to dehydrate and die, anthocyanins shield the remaining leaf tissues while the plant moves nutrients back into the stems and vascular system of the tree.
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How do people benefit from anthocyanins and what plant foods contain them?

In berry research particularly, anthocyanins have been shown to possess strong antioxidant qualities that guard cells of the fruit pulp and seeds from reactive oxygen species ("free radicals") formed during normal plant metabolism and exposure to ultraviolet light.

When people eat anthocyanin-rich foods, we obtain the benefit of these antioxidant qualities, giving us the same capacity for combating the damaging free radicals.

Among plant foods providing the richest sources of anthocyanins are blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, red currants and cherries (up to 400 mg in every 100 gram serving) and Concord grapes (as high as 750 mg/100 grams). Two of the richest sources of anthocyanins in berries are in the black raspberry and tropical palmberry (or acai).

A good rule of thumb is this: dark blue, purple or black fruits that easily stain your fingers (or thumb) during picking are great sources of anthocyanins.

Non-berry plant foods rich in anthocyanins include brightly colored (bluish) vegetables like the purple cabbage and eggplant. White plant foods like banana, pear and potato do not contain significant levels of anthocyanins.

Are there known health values of eating anthocyanin-rich foods?

Medical research has been examining potential health or anti-disease benefits of having anthocyanin-enriched plant foods like berries included in the regular human diet.

Although the work must be considered preliminary until thorough clinical trials are completed, the list of potential benefits are many and includes positive effects against:

• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Inflammation
• Heart and vascular disease
• Alzheimer's disease
• Other types of neurodegeneration
• High blood cholesterol
• Stroke
• Bacterial infections
• Urinary tract infections
• Age-related eyesight deterioration
• Premature aging



Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 10:40pm; Reply: 4
So it sounds like only the purple onions contain this antioxidant?
Posted by: Chloe, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 1:43am; Reply: 5
Quoted from ruthiegirl
So it sounds like only the purple onions contain this antioxidant?


Yes, I believe this is true....because anthocyanins are found in purple/blue foods....which
are generally fruits and most are berries.

Posted by: Victoria, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 8:59pm; Reply: 6
I wonder about beets, because purple cabbage is a similar color.
Posted by: Chloe, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 9:03pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from Victoria
I wonder about beets, because purple cabbage is a similar color.


Yes beets contain anthrocyanins

http://www.freshvegetablesontario.com/index.php?action=display&cat=3&v=6

Posted by: Jane, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 9:10pm; Reply: 8
I think they said anything that is brightly colored not just purple, right?
Posted by: Chloe, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 9:21pm; Reply: 9
Some of the highest foods in anthocyanins include any type of berry — blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries. Other good sources include red wine, grapes, cherries, green tea, eggplant and red cabbage.

http://www.food-info.net/uk/colour/anthocyanin.htm

Other foods as well but amounts vary

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/213820.php
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Thursday, January 24, 2013, 12:33am; Reply: 10
Between beet kvass and having "something red" in my green tea every day (I alternate cherry juice, proberry syrup, or pomegranate juice, depending on availability/local price) I'm probably covered.
Posted by: Chloe, Thursday, January 24, 2013, 1:06am; Reply: 11
Quoted from ruthiegirl
Between beet kvass and having "something red" in my green tea every day (I alternate cherry juice, proberry syrup, or pomegranate juice, depending on availability/local price) I'm probably covered.


Yes, I think you're doing just fine...getting good antioxidants from your diet!  :)

Posted by: Patty H, Thursday, January 24, 2013, 4:44pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from ruthiegirl
Between beet kvass and having "something red" in my green tea every day (I alternate cherry juice, proberry syrup, or pomegranate juice, depending on availability/local price) I'm probably covered.


I am sure you are covered.  I always try to eat the actual fruit of vegetable, however, rather than the juice.  This way I get less sugar and more fiber.  Just a thought . . .

Although strawberries are an avoid for me, they are one of the few avoids I allow on a regular basis because of the health benefits of the red/purple berries.  I eat a lot of blueberries too, but they are much more expensive than the strawberries.  Organic raspberries and black berries tend to rot very quickly, so strawberries and blueberries are a better value from that perspective.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Thursday, January 24, 2013, 5:14pm; Reply: 13
I buy frozen "wild" blueberries at Costco. I also  buy the frozen strawberries there, but I never eat them. I very rarely buy fresh berries- and then only in season.

I don't do well on fruit though- I keep trying to find ways to eat it without messing up my blood sugar and/or appetite, and it just doesn't seem to work. Occasionally I have some thawed blueberries with some nuts or compliant cheese, but I still often get hungry a little while later and then am super-hungry the whole rest of the day. A little bit of juice in my green tea (genoharmonic combination) works fine though.
Posted by: Jane, Thursday, January 24, 2013, 6:26pm; Reply: 14
I put fresh organic blueberries in my morning chia pudding or smoothie with several other fruits that I have on hand - watermelon chunks, pineapple, etc.  
Posted by: wanthanee, Thursday, January 24, 2013, 6:49pm; Reply: 15
:D WOW! You guys are amazing.

Also, I read somewhere about strawberries. It says:

“They also contain a chemical called oxalate, which blocks calcium absorption. So if you’re trying to keep your bones in shape, you should avoid strawberries at certain times.


Only eat them at least an hour before, or two hours after, taking calcium supplements or eating calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, nuts, sardines, collards, or rhubarb.”


Ahhhh…maybe that’s the reason we’re told to eat the fruit on an empty stomach.  ::)

More about blueberries http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm



"Delicious Dessert Lowers Blood Sugar?

Charoset is a sweet dessert dating to Buiblical times, but it's a modern marvel when it comes to health benefits.

Today's science reveals that it's loaded with ingredients that lower blood sugar, improve cholesterol, fight infection, and aid digestion!

Try this recipe for yourself:

1 1/2 C. peeled, cored, and chopped apples ( Maclntosh, preferably)
3/4 C. finely chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. sweet red wine
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs, honey

Mix together and refrigerate overnight for best flavor. Adjust seasoning. if necessary, after it's chilled."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charoset

My blood sugar is fine. I just would like to share this recipe  :D
Posted by: Patty H, Friday, January 25, 2013, 2:59pm; Reply: 16
Quoted from ruthiegirl
I buy frozen "wild" blueberries at Costco. I also  buy the frozen strawberries there, but I never eat them. I very rarely buy fresh berries- and then only in season.

I don't do well on fruit though- I keep trying to find ways to eat it without messing up my blood sugar and/or appetite, and it just doesn't seem to work. Occasionally I have some thawed blueberries with some nuts or compliant cheese, but I still often get hungry a little while later and then am super-hungry the whole rest of the day. A little bit of juice in my green tea (genoharmonic combination) works fine though.


Ruthie, it is interesting that you can drink the juice without it affecting your blood sugar but cannot eat the actual fruit.  From my research, juice is much higher in sugar than the actual fruit.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, January 25, 2013, 3:08pm; Reply: 17
Yes, but I have about an ounce or two of juice in a 12-16 ounce serving of tea. It's either drunk with a meal, or at a time when I'm not otherwise hungry. When I eat fruit, it fills me up, so I eat it when I'd otherwise be eating other things- a bowl of blueberries with quark cheese means I'm not eating a salad and a can of sardines or a vegetable omelete at that time. Then my blood sugar crashes shortly afterwards, and the rest of the day I feel hungrier and don't stay full.
Posted by: Chloe, Friday, January 25, 2013, 7:36pm; Reply: 18
Charoset (thanks for sharing recipe wanthanee :) is eaten during the Jewish holiday Passover....at
our sedar..

Just some info as to the significance for those who don't know.  Actually all ingredients are diamonds for
me (except for honey) so I might enjoy making some just for a compliant snack.  Probably prefer to
use a drier red wine rather than sweet....and maybe mix with some grape juice.

Charoset is one of the symbolic foods that Jews eat during their Passover seder every year. It represents the mortar that the Israelites used to make bricks while they were slaves in Egypt. Exodus 1:14 states: "They [the Egyptians] made them [the Israelites] lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly." Because Passover commemorates the Israelites' escape from bondage, a small amount of charoset is placed on the seder plate as a reminder that we were once slaves and are now free. In this way, Passover not only evokes the past but reminds us to continue to pursue freedom and justice in every generation. The word "charoset" comes from the Hebrew word cheres (חרס), which means "clay."

In the Ashkenazi tradition charoset is usually made out of chopped apples, walnuts and cinnamon with a bit of wine. In the Sephardic tradition it is often made out of dried fruits such as figs, apricots and pears, that are mixed with chopped walnuts and wine.
Posted by: cajun, Friday, January 25, 2013, 8:06pm; Reply: 19
Chloe,
When I read Wanthanee's post I remembered eating Charoset at past Seders at my friend's home. Delicious. :)

Thank you for the cultural/historical/religious information, also. I am such a traditionalist and really enjoy knowing the significance of foods/meals.  ;)

Just got me thinking about my absolute favorite play/musical of alltime..."Fiddler on the Roof".....now I will have the music in my head all day! :D
Posted by: wanthanee, Monday, January 28, 2013, 6:39pm; Reply: 20
Quoted from Chloe
Charoset (thanks for sharing recipe wanthanee :) is eaten during the Jewish holiday Passover....at
our sedar..

.


:) (((Hugs)))
Posted by: wanthanee, Monday, January 28, 2013, 6:43pm; Reply: 21
Quoted from cajun
Chloe,
  ;)

Just got me thinking about my absolute favorite play/musical of alltime..."Fiddler on the Roof".....now I will have the music in my head all day! :D


   :) Wonderful! Cajun (((Hugs)))  :D
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