As a nutritionist I’m a huge fan of using food as medicine, and here in Queensland we’ve had a scientific breakthrough on a fruit that is showing great promise in the health arena. Professor Lindsay Brown of the University of Southern Queensland, head researcher of The Metabolic Syndrome Research Team, with Dr. Sunil Panchal, is calling their new discoveries: “Incredible” Their discovery: that a purple plum, the Queen garnet plum, was not only super high in antioxidants, but also showed massive health benefits. It’s early days but laboratory tests showed that when the Queen Garnet plum was introduced to test subjects eating a high saturated fat, high sugar diet, similar to our Western diet, and mimicking metabolic syndrome, weight loss and much more occurred. “Not only did the subjects lose weight, but heart health improved, liver function and architecture were normalized, blood pressure returned to normal, and glucose was taken up normally by the body once more”, stated Prof. Brown. It could even potentially work on dementia, and this is a plum we are talking about, not a pharmaceutical drug. What’s so special about purple foods? They contain anthocyanin’s, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, which also give the foods their purple colour. Anthocyanin’s work by theoretically blocking NF-kB, one of the main factors responsible for the progression of the inflammation underpinning most modern diseases, including obesity. “Anthocyanin’s are very effective anti-inflammatory agents and obesity is a chronic, low intensity inflammatory disorder” states Prof. Brown. Government funding through RND, has meant this new scientific research on medicine potentials of food has been able to come to fruition. 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,” says Prof Brown. The Queen Garnet plum has up to five times the levels of anthocyanins present than normal plums. The Professor says the work has the potential to provide great benefits to the people in this region, increasing the value of the agricultural products. “It’s great for our regional university to be involved in this collaborative project.” This is recommended as a complementary medicine, please do not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your doctor first.