Consumers hear a lot today about “healthy foods” that are shown to prevent disease. Missing from news broadcasts are details about how to benefit from specific plant components that published studies document help protect against degenerative disorders. In seeking to clarify their knowledge base, scientists are focusing a lot of research on compounds known as anthocyanins, which provide berries and other plants with their rich deep red and purple colors and have been proven to combat multiple pathways of disease.
Hidden in berries and other plants are diverse bioactive compounds that provide broad-spectrum protection against cognitive decline, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, “There is accumulating evidence that much of the health-promoting potential of berries may come from phytochemicals, the bioactive compounds not designated as traditional nutrients.” What the National Institutes of Health is saying is that the disease prevention properties of healthy plants extends beyond the vitamins and minerals they naturally supply.