Green foods, also known as vegetables, have long been known to be an important part of a healthy diet. But when it comes to health and healing, purple may be the new green! It turns out that many purple foods come packed with healthy antioxidants and flavonoids that can make a big difference in your health.
This regal hue is commonly associated with royalty, luxury and sophistication. The color purple symbolizes power; Power in wealth, dignity and a little magic. The antioxidant power of purple foods includes a wide variety of health-promoting properties.
Purple foods contain a pigment called anthocyanin, which is a protective antioxidant that can help protect cells from oxidative damage and promote healing in the body. It plays an active role in promoting eye health.
Health benefits of purple food
1. Purple foods are ulcer-fighters
A 2011 study found that anthocyanins from blackberries reduced stomach ulcer formation in rats. Researchers believe this is because the antioxidants in blackberries prevent oxidation and boost the activity of other important antioxidants, such as glutathione, that are naturally present in the body.
2. Purple foods shown to fight tumors
Purple foods like purple grapes, cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, and, of course, red wine and grape juice contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that was shown to inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer in animal studies. Other studies also show that resveratrol can induce tumorous cell death in prostate, breast, skin, liver, lung and blood-borne tumors. The curcumin in turmeric seems to boost resveratrol’s anti-tumor activity. So enjoy a glass of pinot noir (It’s the type of wine highest in resveratrol) next time you have a meal with curry.
3. Purple foods are good for your liver
Black rice (it’s really dark purple!) has more anthocyanins per gram than blueberries. It’s a delicious antioxidant grain that has been shown to reduce damage to the liver incurred by excessive alcohol intake.
4. Purple foods can help prevent urinary tract infections
Purple vegetables like purple cauliflower, purple carrots and purple cabbage also contain anthocyanin. Cranberries get their UTI-fighting power from anthocyanin. Anthocyanin compounds have been shown in the lab to fight H. pylori, a bacteria that is known to cause stomach ulcers and urinary tract infections.
5. Purple foods are good for the heart
Blackcurrants have been shown to reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol by up to 13 percent., and to raise HDL “good” cholesterol. Bilberries and blackcurrants have more anthocyanins than blueberries. The best berries for health are wild berries, which have higher antioxidant levels than fresh raw farm grown berries or frozen berries.
How to get the most antioxidant benefit from purple food
To get the maximum health benefit, it’s best to eat purple foods raw. Cooking destroys healthy enzymes and breaks down antioxidants. Purple foods are a valuable part of a healthy alkaline diet. Visit a farmers’ market or specialty food store to find more of the color purple. With so many choices to choose from, it isn’t hard to add this color to your daily diet.
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