Health Benefits Of Purple Corn + Delicious Peruvian Drink Recipe!
Written by: Jenna Barrington
Tired of typical yellow corn? Wanting to branch out and find new foods to add to your favorite recipes that are optimizing and nourishing? Looking to add more color to your kitchen? Today’s your lucky day!
We’ve found a peruvian superfood that is not only colorful and versatile, but also full of disease-fighting properties and nutrients!
I’m Talking About Purple Corn!
Purple corn is another name for blue corn, which is a variety of flint maize that originated in Mesoamerica.
My husband likes to make a Spanish drink called chicha morada, using purple corn, pineapple, apple, cinnamon and a few other ingredients (recipe at the end). Up until now, we didn’t know that his concoction was not just brimming with flavor, but also with health benefits!
Health Benefits Of Purple Corn
Purple corn is a natural source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, phenolics and flavonoids. It is particularly high in anthocyanin, which is a potent antioxidant that has been studied extensively for its ability to stimulate tissue regeneration, encourage blood flow and act as an anti-inflammatory.
Organic purple corn may have some potent anti-cancer properties, according to a study done at Ohio State University.
Researchers found that the anthocyanin extract from purple corn was able to reduce cancer cell growth in both rat and human cancer cells by 20%.
Obesity And Diabetes Prevention
Anthocyanins may also have potential in aiding obesity and diabetes prevention if included in one’s diet.
Researchers in Japan fed mice purple corn color extract along with a high fat diet for 12 weeks and compared them to a control group that was not receiving the color extract.‘The mice who ate the purple corn extract not only experienced little to no weight gain but also dodged diabetes symptoms that the other mice suffered.
Reduced Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
A diet high in polyphenolic compounds has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that polyphenols can help lower blood pressure, protect against atherosclerosis and improve blood flow.
Inflammation is at the core of hundreds of health issues and a is major precursor of illness and disease.
Scientists at Tokai Gakuen University performed a series of studies and found that the anthocyanins in purple corn do indeed have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Adding colorful foods to your diet is an excellent way to boost antioxidant intake and get a variety of nutrients and health benefits! You’ve got lots of reds, greens and oranges in your diet, why not add some purple? When buying purple corn, be sure to opt for organic whenever possible.
Give this deliciously nourishing recipe a try and let us know what you think!
Sugar-Free Chicha Morada Recipe
- 1 (15 oz) bag of organic dried purple corn
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 1 large green apple, chopped into several pieces
- 1 whole ripe pineapple, chopped into several pieces (with rind)
- 12 cups water
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- ⅓ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Raw honey to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot except the lime/lemon juice and honey. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove cover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. You can let it sit overnight if you want for the most intense flavor. Strain through a strainer small enough to catch the solids.
- Stir in lime and lemon juice and honey to taste. Serve chilled and over ice. Store in refrigerator.
Ohio State University press release, Compounds that color fruits and veggies may protect against colon cancer, August 20, 2007
The Journal of Nutrition, Dietary Cyanidin 3-O-ß-D-Glucoside-Rich Purple Corn Color Prevents Obesity and Ameliorates Hyperglycemia in Mice, July 2003.
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Molecular Mechanisms Behind the Chemopreventive Effects of Anthocyanidins. 2004
Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.
Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
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