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The Benefits of Anthocyanins

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Anthocyanins are the class of compounds that give red, purple and blue plants their rich colouring.  New research suggests how their rich antioxidant effects could also help to fend off major health problems like heart disease as well as potentially offering anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer benefits.

Anthocyanins have long been used in herbal medicine to treat all manner of health concerns like high blood pressure, colds and urinary tract infections.

Anthocyanins can be found in foods such as berries, red onions, kidney beans, pomegranates, grapes (including wine!), elderberry and tart cherries. Look for those rich red, purple and blue fruits, veggies and pulses on your next food shop for some anthocyanin goodness.

To incorporate more anthocyanins into your day, try this quick and easy salad to add some colour to your day.


  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • salt (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or ½ tsp. honey,
  • 4 cups (lightly packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds

How to make:

Toss onion, sugar, and sumac in a medium bowl; season with salt and let sit 30 minutes. Add oil, vinegar, and pomegranate molasses and toss to combine; let sit 5 minutes. Just before serving, toss in parsley and pomegranate seeds; season with salt.


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