Go ahead, be blue

Blue- and red-hued foods may help improve cholesterol.

Blue- and red-hued foods may help improve cholesterol.

If you’ve been gorging on summer-fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and other red and purple foods, good for you. They’re loaded with anthocyanins, flavonoids that lend these foods their distinctive shade. Anthocyanins have been credited with fighting cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and neurological disorders.

Now the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports the flavonoids may also improve cholesterol. Chinese researchers found that twice-daily supplements containing 160mg of anthocyanins raised blood levels of  helpful HDL cholesterol and lowered harmful LDL cholesterol in study volunteers. Of course, you could just eat some berries–100 g (about 3.5 ounces) of blueberries contains 208 mg of anthocyanins–and enjoy other benefits, like the flavor and fiber. They’re great out of hand, or in all manner of sweet and savory recipes.

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