Here’s a tip from us: if you had to pick a colour for 2017, you may want to make it purple. Traditionally the colour of royalty and luxury, purple is now sought-after as a colour of food. Yes, food! According to experts from organic supermarket chain Whole Foods who had studied the buying habits of consumers across their 460 stores globally, people are picking up purple produce more than ever.
The benefits of purple-hued foods lie mainly in their high antioxidant content and nutrient density – a trait purple foods share due to the prominence of the antioxidant anthocyanin (which is also responsible for the vivid purple colouring).
Here are 8 purple foods, guaranteed to delight your taste buds and eyes!
This is a perennial item on purple food and superfood lists, year after year. The blueberry may be small but it sure packs a punch, nutrient-wise! In addition to being an amazing source of antioxidants, like their purple food counterparts, blueberries are also low in fat, high in fibre and rich in manganese – the nutrient responsible for the conversion of fat and carbohydrate into energy. Sweet and readily available in local.supermarkets, blueberries are an easy introduction to the world of purple food!
2) Acai berries
A berry cousin of the popular blueberry, the acai berry is having its moment in 2017. This dark purple berry that grows in the heart of the lush Amazon is gaining traction for its unique wine-with-chocolate taste, and immense nutritional benefits. This tiny berry is a good source of antioxidants, Vitamin C and vital amino acids. As a huge bonus, acai is known to have some astounding weight-loss properties, both as a juice and eaten as is.
Yet another berry is worth mentioning – the deep, dark purple blackberry. In addition to containing a large concentration of antioxidants (evidenced by its intense purple colour!) and Vitamin C, blackberries are contain tannin in fairly large quantities. The additional benefits of blackberries therefore include intestinal health and the reduction of hemorrhoid swelling.
4) Purple sweet potato
The beautiful lavender hued purple sweet potato is a naturally-occurring cousin to the more commonly seen orange sweet potato. A local favourite in Okinawa, Japan, the purple sweet potato is drier and denser in texture than its orange cousin. Other than the high antioxidant content you’d come to expect from purple foods, purple sweet potato also contains a compound that helps maintain the health of blood vessels and prolong longevity!
5) Red cabbage
This variety of cabbage has gorgeous dark red and purple leaves – looking almost too pretty to eat! Often eaten raw in salads, the red cabbage has 10 times more Vitamin A and twice as much iron as the regular green variety. Red cabbage also contains an additional cancer-preventing compound, glucosinolate, hence making it a really power-packed addition to your meal. Do note that cooking this turns it blue though, so remember to soak it in vinegar before cooking if you want to preserve the vivid purple colouring.
6) Black rice
The Chinese already eat this in desserts, but the rest of the world is just getting clued in on this rice variety that is chock-full of anthocyanin and antioxidants. It turns a very deep purple when cooked and is frequently used in Chinese desserts. Feel free to eat this as is, or with salads! Its anti-inflammatory and detoxing properties make it a very healthy choice and replacement for white or even brown rice.
7) Purple corn
Purple corn can be rare to find, but you know you’ve struck corn jackpot when you come across it! Originating from Peru, this variety of corn that used to be the food of ancient Peruvian royalty (why of course) is naturally high in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
8) Purple plums
Plums are one of easiest foods to enjoy. Sweet, juicy and refreshing, it is quite uncommon to hear of someone who has an aversion to this fruit. Containing an assortment of nutrients including potassium, folate, and Vitamins A, B, C and E – the health benefits of eating plums are numerous. From warding off heart disease to lowering cholesterol levels to regulating the digestive system, there are many reasons why plums are good. They also aid in weight loss and are a key ingredient in our Flush dark plum tea!
If anything, purple foods look beautiful as they are delicious! So we think there is really lots to gain and little to lose in jumping on the purple food bandwagon in 2017 and loading up your plates with these gorgeous violet coloured foods. Don’t forget to eat the other colours of the rainbow too, cos different colours in foods are an indicator of a variety of nutrients in the food! 🙂