What foods are naturally blue? 

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “What foods are naturally blue?” Also, we’ll explore why some foods are naturally blue, what Anthocyanin is, and what the health benefits of consuming Anthocyanin are. 

What foods are naturally blue? 

Some of the most common blue foods include blueberries, blackberries, grapes, eggplant, plums, and cabbage.

While the anthocyanin content varies depending on the food, these items usually have a higher concentration of the compound than other fruits and vegetables.

The -shade- of blue in these foods can vary, as the pH of the aqueous solution (within plant cells) that this pigment is dissolved in, plays a part in determining its tone. 

Foods that are naturally blue may come in different varieties, and as a result, some may have tones that fluctuate between purple, red, and violet shades. 

Overall, blue-colored foods do not pose a risk to one’s health, despite the association of the color with toxic substances and even microbial growth. 

However, what is true for these plants may not be necessarily true for animal products. 

Many wild animals such as frogs, caterpillars, octopuses, snails, and other invertebrates may have blue pigments in their flesh, though in this instance, the color may serve as a warning against predators, and these animals may in fact be poisonous. 

We, therefore, encourage our readers to thoroughly investigate what types of blue food they wish to ingest, and safeguard their health. 

Why are some foods naturally blue? 

Blue plant-based foods contain a pigment called anthocyanin. This compound is found in plants and is responsible for their blue, purple, and red colors. 

As this pigment is naturally occurring in many vegetables, it can be extracted from leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, and roots. They are used to dye other foods in colorful shades, and as such can be extracted from other non-blue plants such as soybeans, apples, gooseberries, cherries, black rice, and many other types. 

Processed foods may in fact receive their coloring from pigments extracted from these plants. Namely, anthocyanins which are stabilized to a specific pH and then used as additives for many foods such as sweets, syrups, baked goods, and beverages. 

What is Anthocyanin? 

Anthocyanin is a pigment found in many plants, that more specifically, is present in plant cell vacuoles. This antioxidant substance has the physiological purpose of protecting plants from abiotic stress. Namely, it is secreted to reduce the damage inflicted to plant cells by extreme temperatures, such as drops and surges, which can trigger frost damage and heat shock. 

Biologically, anthocyanins are thought to make flowers and fruits appealing to pollinators and animals that carry out seed-hauling activities. This helps plants reproduce and is important to their survival in various environments. 

Anthocyanins have other applications at an industrial level. As their color shits with changes in pH, they can be used as pH indicators, and when extracted commercially, anthocyanins are used as a food dye for processed foods such as sweets. 

What are the health benefits of consuming anthocyanin? 

Anthocyanin consumption is reputed to provide many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, protecting against cancer, and boosting cardiovascular health, though these effects require more rigorous studies. 

As antioxidants, anthocyanins may help reduce damage caused by free radicals and may contribute to reducing the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cognitive disorders, insulin resistance, liver disease, circulatory problems, and cancer. 

However, more definitive studies are needed to determine the pathways and absorption of this pigment when it is ingested. 

While a consensus on their health benefits has yet to be reached, some manufacturers have formulated anthocyanin supplements, seeking to capitalize on the demand for antioxidants. 

Our readers should be wary of unlicensed supplements and formulations, as these may inadvertently cause more harm than good. Some potentially noxious side effects of unlicensed supplements include liver disease, kidney disease, and hormonal irregularities. 

We urge our readers to prioritize their health and only ingest supplements that are recommended to them by a certified nutritionist or a general practitioner, both of which will analyze a patient’s current state and determine what supplements and medications are safe, and necessary to consume. 


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “What foods are naturally blue?” Also, we’ve explored why some foods are naturally blue, what Anthocyanin is, and what the health benefits of consuming Anthocyanin are. 



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