Since radicchio was certified in March as a superfood by SCS Global Services, Salinas, Calif.-based grower Royal Rose LLC has gained the support of a local hospital nutritionist.
“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,” Jennifer LeDuc, clinical nutrition manager at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, said in a news release.
Emeryville, Calif.-based SCS Global Services had previously certified spinach, blueberries, broccoli, pomegranate juice and green tea. According to its analysis, the most noteworthy antioxidant in Royal Rose radicchio is anthocyanidins, which are sugarless plant pigments.
Recent research suggests anthocyanidins positively affect collagen production in blood, soft tissue, blood vessels and ligaments, according to the release.
Other examples of foods that can contain high levels of antioxidants, according to SCS Global Services, include cherries, winter squash and tomato paste.