Does Your Plate Need More…Purple?

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  • An assortment of purple produceIt’s a scientifically-proven fact that the darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level.

    SEE: The Healthiest Foods…EVER!

    Antioxidants have the ability to clean up free radicals and keep you looking younger, longer. Thus, purple foods are known for having amazing health benefits and healing powers.

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    The purple pigment in all of these fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure. Resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decreases the pressure in the arteries and allows better circulation. Produce with purple hues contain a variety of polyphenols that can reduce the inflammatory response in the body.

    READ: Is Red Wine Really Good For You?

    Studies have shown that anthocyanin-rich purple foods may have the potential to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  One USDA-funded study found that a couple of servings of purple potatoes a day helped lower blood pressure in obese and hypertensive adults.  Other studies suggest anthocyanins may play a role in reducing the risk of certain cancers, diabetes and dementia.

    Most people are familiar with some purple fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, plums, red onions, eggplants and purple cabbage.  Now you can find a growing array of heirloom and specialty vegetables with a distinctive purple hue:  purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, carrots, corn, tomatoes, peppers, wax beans, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and kale.

    READ: 8 Ways To Stretch Your Healthy Dinner Dollar

    Let’s take a deeper look into these dark nutritional superheroes. Here are five reasons to eat more purple foods:

    1. Purple foods kill cancer

    The resveratrol found in purple grapes, cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, and, of course, red wine and grape juice can inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer in animal studies. Other promising studies also show that resveratrol can induce cancer cell death in cases of prostate, breast, skin, liver, lung and blood cancers. The curcumin in turmeric seems to boost its anti-cancer activity so have a glass of pinot noir (the type of wine highest in resveratrol) next time you have curry.

    READ: Foods That Fight Cancer

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