Nowadays, more and more people are becoming aware that what they eat has a direct impact on their health. As a result of this awareness, the food and beverage industry in now pack with great healthy foods. They are now so popular that they have become one of the food trends for 2019. One of the categories of foods that are becoming very popular is the purple fruits and vegetables.
More and more often, health-conscious consumers are looking for purple foods. Its high levels of antioxidants make it one of the favorite products of consumers. From beetroot and carrots to sweet blackberries and blueberries, this is the list of the 15 purple fruits and vegetables you should be eating.
Purple fruits and vegetables are high in several powerful antioxidants. Some of the main ones are flavonoids, polyphenols, and anthocyanin all of which have some incredible health benefits associated with them, including helping manage diabetes, reducing cholesterol levels, lowering inflammation, and helping maintain brain function as we age.
Antioxidants are substances that help the body fight against damaging, unstable molecules called free radicals. Antioxidants from food help neutralize these molecules, helping keep your body healthy.
The rich color of blackberries is a giveaway that they have some of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits. Rich in bioflavonoids, they are low in sodium and calories. They also have other antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol, which provide additional health benefits. Besides all the antioxidants, they have high concentrations of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamins K and C.
Enjoy them naturally to benefit from their nutritional goodness. You can easily use this fruit as topping to breakfast foods such as cereal, or you can use it in smoothies and salads.
Figs are rich in natural health benefiting phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. Fig color may vary between cultivars due to various concentrations of anthocyanins, with cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside having particularly high content.
You can find fresh figs from August through to early October, and dry all year around. Enjoy them naturally and at room temperature to get the best of this amazing fruit.
Blackberries are another incredible fruit with health benefits. Similar to other purple fruits and vegetables, they are full of antioxidants, and high concentrations in Vitamin C, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, potassium, and magnesium. They rank as one of the highest-rated fruits for helping neutralize free radicals based on their antioxidant capacity.
There are studies showing that this fruit helps slow the growth of lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers. This benefit may be related to two specific antioxidants called cyanidin 3-glucoside and ellagic acid. They may also be beneficial for helping maintain brain health. We are talking about one incredible tiny berry!
You can enjoy this fruit on their own, or you can added to smoothies, salads or even desserts.
4. Passion Fruit
This purple-skinned fruit reveals a bright yellow interior with sweet and sour seeds packed with flavor and antioxidants. Passion fruit contains a special polyphenol antioxidant called piceatannol, which has been shown to have several remarkable health-promoting properties and may be especially beneficial for skin health.
Passion fruit is rich in phytonutrients, as well as vitamins A and C. Eat it fresh to enjoy the maximum benefits.
Plums are one of the fruits that had to be on this list. They can be found in different varieties but one of the most popular is the purple plum (also called black plum) with yellow flesh.
Plums are rich in fiber and help ease digestion, as well as being a wonderful source of vitamin A.
6. Açaí Berry
The açaí berry is a small fruit that comes from a specific type of palm tree found in the rain forest of South America. Its blueish-purple color is a signal of great antioxidants, but besides all the antioxidants, it also as rich in fiber, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, C and E, mineral salts (calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium).
The benefits of açaí come from its high level of anthocyanins that can help protect the heart, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of many diseases.
Açaí is normally found frozen as a puree and it is commonly used as a base dor “açaí bowls” or used in smoothies for an extra antioxidant bost.
Beets have a high content of vitamins including A, C, and B6, but they are also amazing sources of folate, fiber, zeaxanthin, lutein, and a variety of health-boosting minerals. Some studies suggest that this vegetable can lower the risk of chronic disease and help control blood pressure. This vegetable has also been shown to be beneficial for helping speed up recovery after exercise and may help increase performance during exercise.
Beetroots are great in salads, smoothies, or even in some desserts. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s even low in fat. The bottom line is this purple vegetable is incredible for your health.
Eggplants are a versatile purple vegetable, full of vitamins, minerals, that can be eaten in many different ways. They are an amazing source of vitamins, K, C, B6, and multiple minerals necessary for health. In addition, the anthocyanins in eggplant may reduce the risk for cancer, improve cardiovascular risk factors, and prevent aging of the brain.
Roasted, grilled or as a base for a noodle free lasagna, eggplants, are a versatile and delicious vegetable that should be in your shopping list.
9. Purple Potato
All sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, providing many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, provitamin A, potassium, and B vitamins. Purple sweet potatoes have the added benefit of containing anthocyanin antioxidants.
You can use purple sweet potatoes as a substitute for more common orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in any recipe.
10. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is another awesome purple vegetable packed with antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, as well as dietary fiber. Like other cruciferous vegetables, this cabbage is linked to decreased risk for cancer and heart disease due to anti-inflammatory activity.
Red cabbage tastes delicious in a simple salad or in a healthy nutritious soup.
11. Purple Cauliflower
Purple Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, but it also packs a nutritional punch when it comes to fiber, vitamin A, folate, calcium and potassium, and selenium. In terms of nutrient content, is very similar to regular white cauliflower, but with a high concentration of anthocyanins. Like red cabbage, this vegetable is linked to reducing the risk of cancer, particularly those of the lung and gastrointestinal tract.
Purple cauliflower can be prepared and consumed in a similar way as white cauliflower. Roasting it tastes amazing, but it can also be eaten raw, pickled, or added to soups for an extra fiber boost. You may also consider freezing it and adding it into a smoothie for some extra fiber.
12. Purple Asparagus
Purple asparagus adds some nutritional benefits to recipes, providing a wealth of vitamins, minerals. When compared with the other varieties, the purple asparagus has the highest concentration of rutin, a polyphenol plant pigment that may have powerful heart-protective and anticancer properties
This asparagus is so sweet it can be eaten raw, meaning you get to enjoy all those health-enhancing antioxidants to their full potential.
13. Purple Carrot
Like purple cauliflower, the deep purple color in these carrots comes from the anthocyanins they contain and that makes them a bit more beneficial in terms of health. You may have just started seeing them at farmers markets, but they are actually not a new variety at all. Believe it or not, a few hundred years ago, all cultivated carrots were purple. It’s unsurprising to see purple carrots sprouting up again given their stunning color coupled with their anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
Purple carrots are sweet-tasting, crunchy vegetables that are packed with a wide array of polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins, cinnamic acid, and chlorogenic acid. Eat them raw, shred them into salads, or roast them along with other colorful carrot varieties for a beautiful side-dish.
14. Purple Corn
Purple corn or purple maize is a variety of flint maize originating from South America. The pigment giving purple corn its vivid color derives from an exceptional content of a class of polyphenols called anthocyanins.
Common in Peru, purple corn is used in chicha morada, a drink made by boiling ground purple corn kernels with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar, and in mazamorra, a type of pudding. One of the most popular purple corn food uses is the “Api”, a smoothie served hot and sometimes called “Inca’s dessert”.
15. Purple Yam
Purple yam (ube) is a staple of Filippino cuisine where it is used in both savory and sweet dishes. Ube is rich in fiber and contains virtually no fat – it’s a great purple vegetable to add to your daily rotation.
Purple-pigmented foods offer a host of health benefits and add color to your diet. Incorporating purple foods like blackberries, açaí berries, beetroots, or purple carrots into your meal plan can ensure you are consuming a powerful dose of anthocyanin antioxidants and a variety of important nutrients.
Try adding a few of the fruits and vegetables listed above to your next meal or snack to take advantage of their health-promoting properties.