Protect Your Brain and Heart –– and Slow Aging –– by Eating Dark Red, Blue and Purple Fruit and Vegetables

by Nils Osmar. August 8, 2022. Medical Disclaimer

Eating dark red, blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins, a type of naturally occurring flavanoid may offer a measure of protection against brain aging – and improve our odds of avoiding heart disease, stroke and cancer; protects our brains (and memories) from the aging process.and protects our urinary tract health.

Which ones are best?

Fruit and vegetables that are colored all through contain higher quantities than ones with a colored skin (but white interior). Eating dark colored fruit or vegetables along with a diet rich in fatty fish or fish oil appears to multiply these benefits. This study found some striking benefits from consuming cherries, concord grapes, and wild blueberries.

From the study:

Consumption of 200 mL/day of cherry juice by adults older than 70 years with mild-to-moderate dementia leads to an improvement in verbal fluency, short-term memory and long-term memory.

Anthocyanin-rich juice promote a decrease in systolic blood pressure. Inflammatory markers (CRP and IL-6) were not altered by this intervention [267]. Concord grape juice [268] and wild blueberry juice [269] consumption has also potential to improve cognitive function in older adults with early memory decline.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 24 weeks with elderly subjects who had mild self-perceived cognitive decline with aging showed that supplementation with fish oil and with blueberry reduces self-reported inefficiencies in everyday functioning [270].

Anthocyanins’ neurocognitive benefit was also confirmed by functional magnetic resonance imaging in a study where blueberry diet supplementation enhanced neural responses during working memory challenges in older adults with cognitive decline [271]. Improvement in attention/working memory performances was also observed in individuals undergoing mild cognitive decline by consuming table grapes twice a day [272].

Moreover, anthocyanins improve brain perfusion and activation in brain areas associated with cognitive function in healthy older adults supplemented with blueberries [273] and with Vitis vinifera fruit extract [274].

Red, blue and purple vegetables include:

  • Dark red cherries
  • Beets
  • Turnips.
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Eggplant
  • Red and purple cabbage
  • Purple potatoes.
  • Purple onions.
  • Parsnips.
  • Purple cauliflower.

Blue and purple fruits include:

  • Plums.
  • Purple grapes.
  • Plums
  • Figs
  • Elderberries
  • Blueberries.
  • Wild blueberries.
  • Blackberries.
  • Currants..
  • Prunes.

Food order makes a difference

  • It’s clear from many studies that eating a diet rich in dark red, blue and purple fruit and vegetables has benefits if our goal is healthy longevity.
  • With that said, fruit and berries can be high in fructose. In large quantities, they can raise blood glucose dangerously high and even trigger metabolic syndrome. See study: Excessive fructose intake induces the features of metabolic syndrome in healthy adult men (From the study: “Excessive intake of fructose may have a role in the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes.”)
  • So snacking on big bowls of fruit and berries separate from other meals could be problematic.
  • One way to prevent blood spikes is quantity control. Another is adjusting our food order — i.e., eating protein foods and low carb vegetables before eating “sweets” (including fruit and berries).
  • See study: Food Order Has Significant Impact on Glucose and Insulin Levels

See studies:

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