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Royal Rose radicchio dubbed a certified Superfood

Royal Rose radicchio was officially certified a Superfood based on a laboratory analysis of its nutritional breakdown, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

"The benefits of radicchio put this unique vegetable in the Superfood category," Jennifer LeDuc, a registered dietician and the clinical nutrition manager at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, said in a press release. "Radicchio is rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals that are thought to promote heart health, reduce cholesterol, increase vitamin C utilization and may reduce cancer risk. Radicchio is versatile enough to be part of a salad and can be used as the main entrée when roasted, grilled, braised, or barbequed. Health-conscious chefs and home cooks nationwide are discovering radicchio not only for its undeniable health benefits, but for its year-round availability, great taste and versatility."

The most noteworthy antioxidant evaluated in Royal Rose radicchio was the level of anthocyanidins, which are sugarless plant pigments and a class of flavonoids responsible for the intense color of fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, raspberries and red onions. Anthocyanidins are unique flavonoids because of how well they are maintained in the human body once eaten, making them incredibly beneficial to consume regularly.

Anthocyanidins serve as powerful antioxidants, helping fight against the free radicals that age skin and cause chronic illness. New research suggests that these same anthocyanidins have a positive effect on collagen production in blood, soft tissue, blood vessels and ligaments, making them useful in treating everything from varicose veins to arthritis to skin beautifying.

Anthocyanidins are also unique in that they are able to protect cells and tissues from free radical damage in both water-soluble and fat-soluble environments. Anthocyanidins are estimated to have 50 times the antioxidant activity of both vitamin C and vitamin E.