New Delhi: Purple foods are perhaps most significant as it is a fact that darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants can prevent cell damage, and keep one looking younger.
As per data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES), in a survey on eating and health, it was seen that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables are less likely to be overweight. They have a reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol.
Purple foods have a pigment called anthocyanin. This is a strong and antioxidant, which is said to reduce the risk of cancer.
Dr. James Joseph, a neuroscientist at the USDA Health Nutrition and Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and co-author of a book called The Color Code: A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimal Health said, “If I could eat only one color per day, it would be purple.”
Most purple fruit and vegetables contain anthocyanins, but their beneficial compounds don’t stop there. Some of the healthiest purple foods are described below:
Grapes – Containing many antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, all grapes are beneficial for your health. However, darker skinned grapes (deep purple to black) contain significantly more resveratrol. Found on the skin of dark-skinned grapes and other fruits and vegetables with a reddish or purplish pigment, resveratrol is responsible for the health benefits attributed to red wine. Experts believe resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decrease arterial pressure and promote healthful blood circulation. It has been shown to prevent cancer, lessen inflammation, improve blood sugar control, reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
Blueberries – Blueberries aren’t that easily accessible (and pocket friendly), we must find other ways to score these disease fighting compounds. And the good news is that there are plenty such (sources). Read on some of the names might surprise you.
Plums – This stone fruit is a great source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin C. Because a plum’s potassium level is so high, it can help manage high blood pressure and lower stroke risk. Plum consumption has been associated with helping control blood sugar; while dried plums – otherwise known as prunes – are known to promote regular bowel movements.
Red Cabbage – Containing significantly more beneficial antioxidants than green cabbage, the rich purple color of red cabbage reflects it concentration of anthocyanins. In addition, red cabbage contains 36 different types of antioxidants as well as 6-8 times more Vitamin C than green cabbage. When steamed, this versatile, cruciferous vegetable possesses a significant cholesterol-lowering ability. When your diet is not full of this understated vegetable, supplementing with Cholesterol Support can help keep cholesterol levels in check.
Eggplant – If you have been skipping eggplants (also called brinjal and aubergine) just because you don’t like its taste, then it’s time to learn to love them as they are loaded with anthocyanin. And please don’t toss the skin; it is full of fibre, potassium and magnesium and, yes anthocyanins.
Beets – Beets are delicious, nutritious and low in calories (200gm provides only 85 calories). Plus they are loaded with fibre – almost 6gm per 200gm. And the best news: their deep red colour gives away the fact that they are loaded with anthocyanin too.
Pomegranate – One of my favourite ways of enjoying the benefits of anthocyanins is with a fruit smoothie that incorporates frozen or fresh berries, and juice of another loaded source – pomegranate; it’s a glass full of tasty, concentrated fruit anthocyanins.