The darker the fruit, the more rich it is in antioxidants. If going by this rule, purple foods are one of the richest sources of anti-oxidants. As you might be knowing, anti-oxidants wipe out the free radicals responsible for degeneration of the cells in our body. The more degenerated cells you have, the more older you will look. By clearing off the free radicals, the antioxidants thus, help you stay younger for longer. But that’s not all! Besides its anti-aging benefits, purple foods have many more health benefits.
Health Benefits of Purple Foods
Purple foods come in many shades. The deep shades of blackberries, black currants and eggplant are as beneficial as the blue-like shade of blueberries and elderberries. And when it is the true purple shade of grapes, plums and purple cabbage, you cannot have a doubt regarding the defense these foods provide to your body against the oxidative stress. They heal your body from the inside out.
Anti-aging Benefits of Purple Foods
The antioxidants found in purple foods are called anthocyanins, the phytochemicals that give these foods their purple pigment. The violet and red foods also have their bright color due to this anthocyanins. They, like other anti-oxidants, stop the degeneration of cells by reducing free radicals and thus delay the onset of signs of aging.
Anthocyanins also protect us against cardiovascular disease apart from neutralizing oxidative stress. They provide us with mental clarity, and can even help prevent cancer.
How does purple foods give anti-aging benefits?
- Purple foods protect the DNA, protein and lipids from aging due to oxidative stress
- They reduce inflammation which is at the root of almost all diseases including an older looking body
- They prevent destruction of collagen. Collagen is the building block of connective tissue. It is that abundant protein in our bodies which holds our whole body together. It is present everywhere- in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons. When you protect your collagen, you keep your skin firm and youthful. Your eyes remain healthy and you also prevent osteoporosis, all by having purple foods.
Anti-Cancer Benefits of Purple Foods
There is this another antioxidant in some of the purple foods called resveratrol. You can find it in purple grapes, blueberries, and bilberries. Many studies have found out that resveratrol can make cancer cells die. This helps you get rid of cancers of prostate, breast, skin, liver, lung and blood.
Ulcer Fighting Benefits of Purple Foods
A study conducted in 2011 found out that anthocyanins found in blackberries helped reduce stomach ulcer in rats. While the antioxidant prevent oxidation, it also boosts the activity of other important antioxidants like glutathione, already present in the body. This helps combat ulcers.
UTI Preventing Benefits of Purple Foods
USDA researchers had conducted a laboratory test in which they found that wild blueberries have highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating. ORAC measures the antioxidant capacity of foods. They had tested more than 20 berries and fruits. This may explain why purple foods like blueberries prevent urinary tract infections. In fact, blueberries are good not only for UTI prevention but for your overall health.
Healthy Heart Benefits of Purple Foods
Polyphenols in purple foods keep your heart healthy by supporting healthy blood vessels. Grapes, purple cabbage, potatoes, eggplant are thus essentially beneficial for your heart. Purple fruits as well as purple vegetables loaded with their antioxidants like anthocyanins, carotenoids, and phenolic acids, are capable of reducing chronic inflammation associated with heart disease and stroke. Having them in your platter everyday may mean no cardiovascular issues for you!
Blood Pressure Lowering Benefits of Purple Foods
Purple potatoes and such other purple foods have high deposits of chlorogenic acid which reduces high blood pressure as claimed by many animal studies. Resveratrol in purple foods also help decrease blood pressure by relaxing the arterial walls. This reduces the pressure in the arteries thus allowing better blood circulation.
What are some Purple Foods?
Knowing the health benefits of purple foods is not enough. You should also know what purple foods to eat. Here is a list of purple foods for you.
If you are overweight and have high blood pressure, include purple potatoes in your daily diet. A research on purple potatoes found out that these vegetables can effectively reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke in those people who suffer from high blood pressure. This all happens without weight gain. Have purple potatoes with skin and do not fry them or make them unhealthy by wrong means of cooking. They are also rich in potassium and vitamin C so expect more good from purple potatoes!
Purple carrots have high amounts of Vitamin A which helps prevent clogging of arteries. This in turn prevents strokes. They are also rich in vitamin B, C and E as well as calcium pectate, which makes it a good source of fiber. They help lower cholesterol levels. Purple carrots are very high in antioxidants, thanks to its anthocyanins and other phytochemicals. They all make it anti-inflammatory and also help relieve arthritis. Many studies have shown that purple carrots provide extra protection against various cancers and heart disease. Purple carrots may also help you in losing weight and in controlling diabetes due to its pro-vitamin A carotenoids. One of the studies found out that high levels of carotenoids in your body may cut half the risk of diabetes.
Purple cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable having purple color due to the anthocyanins. Cruciferous vegetables have been known for their cancer-fighting properties. Apart from being rich in vitamin C, purple cauliflower gives you fiber, vitamin A, folate, calcium, potassium and selenium. This purple vegetable has cancer-fighting phytochemicals know as glucosinolates. The antioxidants and sulfur compounds of purple cauliflower help your body flush out the toxins that damage your cells and make you prone to have cancer. It can be safely said that purple cauliflower is one of the best anti-cancer foods.
Blueberries are a rich source of Vitamins C, B6 and K. They also have iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, copper, folate, beta-carotene, choline, vitamin A and vitamin E apart from the trademark anthocyanins of purple foods. Not only this, blueberries have phenolic compounds like quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin. All these make blueberries the king of antioxidant foods! They have the highest anti-oxidants when compared with all the other foods.
These blueberries reduce oxidative DNA damage and help keep you young for longer. They also help in preventing cancer and diabetes. They may lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. When you have blueberries, you improve the functioning of your brain and delay its age-related decline. These berries prevent age related diseases like Alzheimer disease.
Plums and Prunes
Plums and prunes are a great source of vitamin C. This vitamin helps in absorption of iron. They are also rich in vitamin A, B2 and potassium. These being good sources of dietary fiber, can help you get rid of most of the toxic wastes in your body. If you struggle with high blood pressure and cholesterol, these purple fruits are for you.
Eggplants are rich in Vitamins C, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, fiber and the typical component of the purple foods, anthocyanins. Having eggplant regularly decreases your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease. You also get healthy skin tone and hair as well as energy. Anthocyanins in eggplants lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and also the cholesterol levels. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid in eggplants prevent damage caused to body cells and restrict the growth of tumors. This makes it an anti-cancer food. The nasunin, which is an anthocyanin found in the eggplant skin, inhibits neuroinflammation and promotes blood flow to the brain. This prevents age-related mental disorders apart from improving memory.
Eating a plateful of purple foods everyday, thus, makes you disease free and younger. You can say, purple foods are the longevity foods, they are one of the 20 foods to eat for longer life!