Have you seen a purple lettuce? Or a purple cauliflower? How about purple carrots? They may be odd looking but never be fooled by their appearance.
Dark shades of purple and blue have long been associated with luxury, sophistication and power, and the same can be said for their rich nutritional value.
And much like chocolate, the darker, the better. Not only is blue and purple-pigmented produce delicious, but it is also packed with nutrients and has a high antioxidant content.
Here’s why you need to put more purple foods on your plate:
1. They help prevent cancer
Flavanoids, the compounds responsible for the blue and purple pigments in foods such asberries, eggplants and onions, are antioxidant powerhouses known for their cancer prevention prowess.
2. They help keep you young
Purple foods are rich in anthocyanins, free radical-fighting antioxidants that can help improve memory, remove toxins and assist with healthy ageing. Berries and dark chocolate are particularly rich sources. Foods such as figs and purple carrots are also revered for their ability to protect against macular degeneration and promote weight loss and fertility.
Monoterpenes-rich foods, such as cherries and lavender, promote blood circulation and reduce the effects of insomnia, anxiety, migraines and depression. Lavender essential oil, which contains the phytonutrient perillyl alcohol, has strong antifungal and antiseptic properties and can be used to treat skin ailments such as psoriasis, acne, wrinkles, cuts and burns.
4. They reduce inflammation
Polyphenol-containing foods, such as black olives, plums and prunes, help fight inflammation, which is believed to be the root cause of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and immune dysfunction.
5. They reverse the effects of alcohol
Black rice (also known as wild or purple rice) – an antioxidant-rich grain that has a nutty flavor profile – has more anthocyanins per gram than blueberries and has been found to reverse the effects of alcohol on the liver.
6. They’re good for your heart
Resveratrol is one of the main compounds in blue and purple plant foods, and has been shown to help stabilize blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Resveratrol also helps to relax the arterial walls, which decreases the pressure in the arteries and promotes better circulation.