With our healthcare system in crisis, taking care of your health has never been a hotter topic, with experts identifying and recommending specific foods that may offer fast-acting benefits for long-term health wins.
Regular exercise, reducing stress levels and eating lots of fruit and vegetables, especially dark ‘purple’ berry fruits, are all important when it comes to health, wellness and prevention.
Strong evidence is showing that as a nation we should be upping our dietary levels of polyphenolic compounds called anthocyanins.
Recognised as some of the most important bioactives in the human diet, these compounds are becoming synonymous with a spectrum of lifespan-essential health-protecting benefits, such as promoting blood flow.
Healthy circulation is the key to longevity and essential for the function of vital organs, keeping the brain sharp and enjoying an active lifestyle.
Anthocyanins are the colour pigments that protect plants against pests, UV light and disease, with the highest concentrations found in berries - and particularly blackcurrants.
Recent investigations involving almost 60,000 adults in Europe and the US highlight the important role of anthocyanins for good health, yet despite this, no guidelines exist for recommended intake.
So, are you consuming enough?
For the last decade, Professor Mark Willems of the University of Chichester has made major breakthroughs on the role of anthocyanins for the health conscious.
Professor Willems believes the evidence is building that we need to eat more fruit, especially berries and vegetables rich in these compounds, or supplement with high-value functional foods, through fortification or taking anthocyanin supplements.
He says: “We fortify animal feeds with these functional food components and the same could be done with food for human consumption to affect human health.
“We’ve seen in research that blackcurrant compounds are good for our blood vessels.
“It is an important finding that the ease of intake of blackcurrant extract can provide beneficial effects.”
Adding two ‘purple’ foods a day, ie two handfuls of dark-coloured berries, on top of our ‘five a day’ is a good starting point.
CurraNZ, as a concentrated source of blackcurrant anthocyanins, is also a great way to supplement your diet, with one capsule delivering 105mg, the equivalent to a large handful of fresh blackcurrants.
But regardless of your age, it’s never too late to include more anthocyanins into your daily regime.