Purple Corn Extract is one of our all-time favourite products. We’ve been selling it since 2006, when we were introduced to it alongside the other Peruvian products such as maca and lucuma. It was David Wolfe who first asked the Peruvian farmers if they could start producing raw cacao, back in 2005, and I guess the farmers then introduced him to a whole bunch of other crops as well, and that’s how they started being popularised in the raw food movement.
We love it for four main reasons:
- Unlike many superfoods, it has a great taste, a bit like Ribena.
- It is a beautiful vivid purple colour, unmatched by any other natural food colouring.
- It is rich in anthocyanins; this is the antioxidant that makes it a true superfood. More on those shortly.
- It is third-eye opening, pineal gland stimulating, and so mildly psychoactive. Yep, we’ll explain that in more detail as well!
When buying purple corn, it’s vital to get the extract, not the flour. When it started getting popular in the West, many people jumped on the bandwagon and started producing the flour, which is, to be quite honest, a waste of money. Purple corn is literally that: it’s maize, so if you buy the flour, you’re basically buying cornflour. What makes purple corn exciting, as we mentioned, are the anthocyanins, so it’s those that we want to isolate. Purple corn flour doesn’t taste of much, doesn’t turn your food purple, is no more antioxidant rich than a food like blueberries or red grapes, and won’t do much for your third eye either. The extract however; that’s a different matter, and we advise only using it in very small doses because of its potency.
We sadly lost our supply at the beginning of the year, and it’s taken us this long (over 9 months) to find some more. In the process, I’ve spoken with many Peruvian farmers, and I have to say, I love the energy of the Peruvian people and I can’t wait to go and visit when the freedom to travel is back on the cards. But the good news is, our new Purple Corn Extract is a 30:1 extract. Previously, we had always had 7:1. What this means is that they take 30kgs of purple corn to make 1kg extract. This is the most pure and potent purple corn available in the world today!
Our new supplier sent us some info which I’m about to share with you, but before I do, there’s just one more thing I need to mention. One of the things we were told about Purple Corn, when there was the initial wave of interest in it, in the mid 2000s (when people were still thinking for themselves and before our brains had been destroyed by social media), was that there was an ancient Hopi prophecy that said, “When Purple Corn comes to the West, that is the time of the Great Awakening.” Well, having sold more purple corn over the past 15 years than probably anyone else in the West, we are honoured to have played our part in that, and we urge you to try purple corn extract for yourself, and let us know if it contributes to your awakening.
So, this is what our new supplier had to share (I’m taking this straight off the info he sent me, complete with annotated references below).
The word Anthocyanin is derived from the Greek “Anthos” meaning flower, and “Kyanos” meaning blue. Anthocyanins are responsible for the purple, blue and red colours of many plants. Anthocyanins belong to the class of plant chemicals called flavonoids.
Researchers from a university in Texas determined that the anthocyanin content of purple corn is 16.4 mg whereas blueberries are no more than 3.8mg. 1
It’s also very high on the antioxidant scale. Antioxidants is a term thrown around a lot, but it’s kind of hard to explain what they actually are. Basically, when there is an excess of oxygen-based free radicals in the body, that puts the body into oxidative stress; antioxidants are like scavengers which mop up these free radicals.
In experiments on rats, purple corn was shown to reduce inflammation2, reduce the spread of cancer cells3, decrease cholesterol, and reduce atherosclerosis4. In Japan, they showed that purple corn can help prevent diabetes and obesity5, and in Ohio, they noted that it protects the retina, and so improves vision.
Pretty impressive stuff, right? So what are the best ways to enjoy purple corn extract in your diet?
- Chica Morada is a staple drink in Peru, which is in essence, purple corn, lime juice and sugar. You can make your own version, or also make it as a hot drink with chilli – there’s a recipe in my Raw Magic book.
- As a food colouring, it’s perfect for mylks, smoothies and desserts. Purple guac is also a hit!
- As Peruvian crop, it combines well with Cacao and we put it in our LuckyMe raw chocolate bar. It is also one of the essential ingredients that makes the legendary Quantum Cake quantum.
But don’t forget, as we said, our experience is that purple corn has serious psychoactive properties. This means it awakens the pineal gland: what that actually looks like is different for each individual, but for sensitives, you could start to feel a little tripped out. If you’re someone who is aware that they are acutely sensitive to the effects of different foods, then we would strongly recommend taking it very slowly on the purple corn extract. Just quarter of a teaspoon is enough to get a heightened sense of awareness, and a whole teaspoon? Let’s just say, we don’t recommend operating heavy machinery! And if the psychoactive benefits are something that appeals to you, then take one whole teaspoon, and mix it up with suma or mucuna for a real party vibe.
If you are familiar with purple corn, then you will be as excited as we are that it’s back in stock. And if it’s not something that is already in the superfood section of your kitchen cupboards, then now’s the time to get some in and discover why we rate it in the top ten superfoods that we sell on our site.
Buy purple corn extract here.
- Cevallos-Casals BA, Cisneros-Zevallos L. Stoichiometric and kinetic studies of phenolic antioxidants from Andean purple corn and red-fleshed sweet potato. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(11):3313-3319.
- Tsuda T, Horio F, Osawa T. Cyanidin 3-O-b-D-glucoside suppresses nitric oxide production during zymosan treatment in rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2002;48(4):305-310.
- Hagiwara A, Miyashita K, Nakanishi T, Sano M, Tamano S, Kadota T, Koda T, Nakamura M, Imaida K, Ito N, Shirai T. Pronounced inhibition by a natural anthocyanin, purple corn color, of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazol[4,5- b]pyridine (PhIP)-associated colorectal carcinogenesis in male F344 rats pretreated with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine. Cancer Lett. 2001;171:17-25.
- Tsuda T, Horio F, Osawa T. Dietary cyanidin 3-O-? -D-glucoside increases ex vivo oxidation resistance of serum in rats. Lipids. 1998;33(6):583-588.
- Tsuda T, Horio F, Uchida K, Aoki H, Osawa T. Dietary cyanidin 3-O-? -D-glucoside-rich purple corn color prevents obesity and ameliorates hyperglycemia in mice. J Nutr. 2003;133(7):2125-2130.