Also known as blue corn, purple corn is one of the several functional foods that researchers search for due to their various health benefits. Purple corn is in the same category with green tea, soy isoflavones, nuts, and other foods that contain a bevy of antioxidants. Unlike the regular corn, purple corn produces kernels with purple shades.
The power of purple corn
One of the reasons why purple corn is among the healthiest foods in the world is the antioxidants found within.
Along with anti-cancer properties, the plant also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps with obesity.
The irony with purple corn is that the product has been used by the people in the Peruvian Andes for a long time. The locals in the Peruvian Andes use purple corn to color some of their foods and beverages.
That practice has become popularized in the modern world recently, making purple corn and its kernels extremely common and popular product.
As we mentioned, purple corn is rich with antioxidants that help with cancer protection. This is especially true for anthocyanins that are extracted from the plant.
A study at the Ohio State University showed that the antioxidant killed 20% of cancer cells in an in vitro experiment.
Scientists extracted anthocyanin from different plants, including grapes and radishes as well as purple corn.
The test was conducted on rats treated with carcinogen after which scientists fed the rats with an environmentalcarcinogen. The signs of colorectal cancer, as well as benign and malignant tumors found in the rats, were significantly reduced.
There were no adverse effects. For the purpose of the study, the rats were fed with a diet containing purple pigment, extracted from the purple corn or other berries.
While purple corn is mainly used for cancer prevention, what makes the plant unique and special is its anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to help with obesity problems.
A study by the Tokai Gakuen University in Japan confirmed the anti-inflammatory properties of the purple corn.
For the purpose of the study, scientists used male rats who received the anthocyanin orally in liquid form. After receiving the antioxidant, scientists used rats that were previously exposed to chemically-induced acute inflammation to see how they will react.
The study showed that rats showed less inflammation symptoms after being treated with anthocyanin.
Researches in Japan wanted to find out what happens when rats are fed with C3G, one of the antioxidants in the purple corn as part of a high-fat diet. C3G, better known as the anthocyanin antioxidant, prevented rats from gaining weight.
Scientists from the Doshisha University believe that the same effect can be achieved and a similar link can be found in humans.
For the purpose of the study, researchers compared the body weights of the rats fed with a high-fat diet with and without the addition of purple corn.
The results after 12 weeks were pretty obvious, as the male rats in the group with an addition of purple corn color showed fewer signs of developing obesity, all while consuming the same food.