Non-GMO purple corn has twice the antioxidant value of blueberries

PurpleCornPurple corn was farmed in South America over 2,000 years ago, and it is still widely cultivated in Peru today. It was a staple of the ancient Aztec and Mayan empires. And it certainly wasn’t a genetically-modified crop.

Historically, marketing by companies in the ‘purple’ venue has been modest, with most sales being due to the novelty idea. But today companies are touting a more worthy angle: the health benefits of purple foods.

One such company is Suntava, a Minnesota-based company which markets blue corn products. Its director of business development, Terry Howell, says that people are starting to understand that ‘purple foods are healthy foods.’

Suntava promotes a non-GMO blue corn which has been tested to demonstrate an ORAC value of 10,800 (100 grams), which is more than double the accepted 4,669 value of blueberries.

And the benefits don’t end with just touting an ORAC value. Promising studies are showing that blue corn is able to relieve low-grade inflammation; reduce the oxidation of lipids in the blood; and ‘positively impact’ blood glucose levels.

There is also some exciting new research on purple corn’s effects on colon cancer cells; so it is possible we have just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of purple ‘superfoods.’

Dr. James Joseph, a neuroscientist at the USDA Human Nutrition and Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and co-author of a book called The Color Code: A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimal Health says: “If I could eat only one color per day, it would be purple.”

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