The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
7 Delicious Blue Fruits with Powerful Health Benefits
By Makayla Meixner
Blue fruits get their vibrant color from beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols.
In particular, they're high in anthocyanins, which is a group of polyphenols that give off blue hues (1Trusted Source).
However, these compounds provide more than just color.
Research suggests that diets high in anthocyanins may promote heart health and reduce your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and other diseases (2Trusted Source).
Here are 7 delicious blue fruits with powerful health benefits.
Blueberries are tasty and packed with nutrients.
These delicious berries are also high in anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants that help defend your cells against harm from unstable molecules called free radicals (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
According to one study in 10 healthy men, the antioxidants provided in about 2 cups (300 grams) of blueberries may immediately protect your DNA against free radical damage (7Trusted Source).
Additionally, research indicates that diets high in anthocyanins from blueberries and other fruits and vegetables may help prevent chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and brain conditions like Alzheimer's (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Blueberries are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants, which play a role in preventing cell damage and may reduce chronic disease risk.
Blackberries are sweet and nutritious dark-blue berries that offer several health benefits.
A single cup (144 grams) of blackberries packs nearly 8 grams of fiber, 40% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for manganese, and 34% of the DV for vitamin C (11).
The same serving also provides 24% of the DV for vitamin K, making blackberries one of the richest fruit sources of this essential nutrient (11).
Though the relationship between vitamin K and bone health is still being researched, scientists believe that a lack of vitamin K may contribute to osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become weak and fragile (13Trusted Source).
While leafy green vegetables are highest in vitamin K, a select few fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries, and prunes, also contain ample amounts to help you meet your daily needs (3, 11, 14Trusted Source, 15).
Blackberries are loaded with fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. They're also one of the few fruits that are high in vitamin K, which plays an essential role in blood clotting and bone health.
This blue-purple fruit may help defend against the cold and flu by boosting your immune system. It's also been shown to help people recover from these illnesses faster (18Trusted Source).
Research suggests that the beneficial plant compounds in elderberries may activate healthy immune cells that help fight off cold and flu viruses (19Trusted Source).
What's more, test-tube studies indicate that concentrated elderberry extracts may fight the flu virus and prevent it from infecting cells, though this is still under investigation (20, 21Trusted Source).
In one 5-day study, taking 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of a concentrated elderberry syrup daily helped people with the flu recover an average of 4 days quicker than those who did not take the supplement (22Trusted Source).
These berries are also high in vitamins C and B6, two nutrients known to promote a healthy immune system. Just 1 cup (145 grams) of elderberries provides 58% and 20% of the DVs for vitamins C and B6, respectively (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25).
Keep in mind that it may be best to eat these berries cooked. Raw elderberries may cause an upset stomach, particularly if eaten unripe (26).
Elderberries are a nutritious purple-blue berry popularly used as a natural remedy for cold and flu symptoms.
4. Concord Grapes
Concord grapes are a healthy, purple-blue fruit that can be eaten fresh or used to make wine, juices, and jams.
Though more research is needed, some studies show that Concord grapes and their juice may boost your immune system (28Trusted Source).
For example, one 9-week study that had people drink 1.5 cups (360 ml) of Concord grape juice daily observed increases in beneficial immune cell counts and blood antioxidant levels, compared with a placebo group (29Trusted Source).
Additionally, several smaller studies suggest that drinking Concord grape juice daily may boost memory, mood, and brain health (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
Purple-blue Concord grapes may boost immunity, mood, and brain health, though more studies are needed to confirm this.
5. Black Currants
Black currants are very tart berries with a deep, bluish-purple hue.
They can be eaten fresh, dried, or in jams and juices. You may also find them in dietary supplements.
Black currants are especially high in vitamin C, which is a well-known and potent antioxidant.
A single cup (112 grams) of fresh blackcurrant supplies more than two times the DV for this vitamin (34).
As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect against cellular damage and chronic disease. In fact, some population studies note that diets rich in this nutrient may offer significant protection against heart disease (35Trusted Source).
Blackcurrants are packed with vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that plays a vital role in your immune system and helps maintain healthy skin, bones, and teeth.
6. Damson Plums
They're high in fiber, with 1/2 cup (82 grams) packing an impressive 6 grams of this nutrient (15).
Plums also contain certain plant compounds and a type of sugar alcohol called sorbitol, which may help loosen your stools and promote more frequent bowel movements as well (42Trusted Source).
Prunes made from damson plums supply fiber, beneficial plant compounds, and the sugar sorbitol — all of which may help relieve constipation.
7. Blue Tomatoes
Blue tomatoes, also known as purple or Indigo Rose tomatoes, are grown to be high in anthocyanins (43Trusted Source).
Their high anthocyanin content gives off a purple-blue tint (44Trusted Source).
Several studies suggest that diets high in anthocyanin-rich foods may reduce inflammation, protect against heart disease, and promote eye and brain health (45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).
Blue tomatoes are grown to be rich in anthocyanins while retaining high amounts of other beneficial plant compounds that have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and prostate cancer.
The Bottom Line
Aside from their delicious taste, blue fruits offer a wide array of health benefits.
They're nutrient-dense sources of powerful antioxidants, including vitamin C and beneficial plant compounds called anthocyanins.
To boost your health, eating a variety of blue fruits regularly may be worthwhile.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Malinda Maynor Lowery
Increasingly, Columbus Day is giving people pause.
By Jeff Turrentine
More than 58 million people currently living in the U.S. — 17 percent of the population — are of Latin-American descent. By 2065 that percentage is expected to rise to nearly a quarter. Hardly a monolith, this diverse group includes people with roots in dozens of countries; they or their ancestors might have arrived here at any point between the 1500s and today. They differ culturally, linguistically and politically.
By Tara Lohan
Prigi Arisandi, who founded the environmental group Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation, picks through a heap of worn plastic packaging in Mojokerto, Indonesia. Reading the labels, he calls out where the trash originated: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada. The logos range from Nestlé to Bob's Red Mill, Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts.
The trash of rich nations has become the burden of poorer countries.