Deep, rich and full of exciting flavor. Purple is a fun color to put on your plate. It adds a lot of visual appeal and unique nutrients! When you see purple think, high in antioxidants. That's because naturally purple foods are super high in anthocyanins. This is the chemical that gives foods like purple, blue and red their color. It's also what makes it high in antioxidants. Anthocyanins promotes health in various ways. Eating a anthocyanins-rich diet can help your body fight off cancer cells, diabetes and heart disease.
Let's take a look at some of the recommended purple foods that are powerhouse foods!
1. Blackberries -
Blackberries are loaded with powerful antioxidants making it a healthy sweet treat. It also contains folate, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. If you live in the Sacramento area, then you know August is the best time to pick wild blackberries by your nearest creek.
2. Eggplant -
Part of the nightshade family, eggplants are high in manganese, a mineral essential for bone health and metabolism. "The peel of purple eggplants is especially concentrated in the anthocyanin nasunin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and heart-protective properties." 1
3. Purple Potato -
"All sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, providing many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, provitamin A, potassium, and B vitamins. Purple sweet potatoes have the added benefit of containing anthocyanin antioxidants"...due to its purple color. 1
4. Purple Carrot -
"Purple carrots are sweet-tasting, crunchy vegetables that are packed with a wide array of polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins, cinnamic acid, and chlorogenic acid. Research has shown that people who consume polyphenol-rich diets have lower rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes than those who consume diets low in these important antioxidants." 1
5. Purple Cabbage -
"All varieties of cabbage are exceptionally nutritious. However, purple cabbage — also known as red cabbage — contains anthocyanins, which boost the health-promoting properties of this cruciferous vegetable even higher. Purple cabbage is loaded with fiber, provitamin A, and vitamin C. It provides potent anti-inflammatory effects thanks to the high levels of powerful plant compounds found in its highly pigmented leaves." 1
6. Forbidden Rice -
Black rice, which is also referred to as "Forbidden Rice", takes on a deep, dark purple color once cooked. Forbidden rice is different than other forms of rice due to its deep pigmentation making it an excellent source of anthocyanins. This is a great substitute for standard white or brown rice, with the added nutritional benefit.
Incorporating purple foods on to your plate ensures you're consuming a powerful dose of anthocyanin antioxidants and a variety of important nutrients. Try roasting some purple carrots next time or add some blackberries on top of your morning yogurt. Every bit counts!
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