PURPLE foods may be the key to unlocking the obesity crisis, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and a host of other health disasters, according to new USQ research.
Laboratory tests showed that when purple carrots and the queen garnet plum were introduced to test subjects eating a high saturated fat, high sugar diet - similar to our Western diet - weight loss and much more occurred.
Not only did the subject lose weight, both foods had the startling ability to lower a wide range of related health disorders in the subjects.
Professor Lindsay Brown of the University of Southern Queensland said: "When the purple carrots or queen garnet plums were ingested, even in the presence of eating a high fat, high sugar diet, weight loss occurred.
"Not only that, but heart health improved, liver function and architecture were normalised, blood pressure returned to normal, and glucose was taken up normally by the body once more."
Why purple foods? They contain anthocyanins, powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which also give the foods their purple colour.
The groundbreaking discoveries were made by Prof Brown and his world-class research team, the Metabolic Syndrome Research Team, with Dr Sunil Panchal and Dr Hemant Poudyal.
Anthocyanins work by theoretically blocking NF-kB, one of the main factors responsible for the progression of the inflammation underpinning most modern diseases, including obesity.
Purple carrots were known in ancient Persia and Afghanistan more than 2000 years ago, long before their orange counterparts.
They appear to glean their power from these remarkable antioxidants: the anthocyanins.
More recently, Professor Brown, Dr Panchal and Mr. Maharshi Bhaswant worked together with local growers and the Queensland Government to test the queen garnet plum, possibly the next "super food".
The plum was developed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and grown at Warroo Orchard in southern Queensland.
"The results are amazingly positive," Prof Brown said.
They will visit the Hervey Bay USQ campus in July 2014.
Dietary suggestions are recommended as a complementary medicine. Please do not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your doctor first.
Find nutritionist Honor Tremain on Facebook at Honor Tremain Thriving Nutrition or to ask her a health or diet-related question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.