The Power of Purple Foods

If you’ve heard you should “eat the rainbow,” you’ve received good advice. Colorful foods are packed with important antioxidants and nutrients. Learn how you can reap the benefits from purple food powerhouses.

The Power of Purple Foods

Purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are health-promoting chemicals that help protect cells and heal your body. Research suggests they play active roles in promoting eye and heart health, decreasing cancer cell proliferation and more. Anthocyanins are predominant in teas, honey, wines, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, cocoa and cereals.

Include these purple fruits and vegetables into your diet at least 4-5 days a week along with dark green, orange and yellow foods for maximum benefits.


Purple Foods

Purple Carrots
Purple carrots were first grown in the Middle and Far East, along with white, red, yellow, green and black versions. They are high in anthocyanins and pro-vitamin A carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants. They may also help with weight management and glucose control, and in one study, those with high levels of carotenoids had about half the risk of diabetes.

You can find purple carrots year-round in farmer’s markets and some grocery stores and specialty stores.

Purple FoodsPurple Cauliflower
Purple cauliflower is actually a type of broccoli that is purple and turns green upon cooking. Cruciferous vegetables have been touted for their cancer-fighting powers. Cauliflower has antioxidants and sulfur compounds that help your body get rid of the toxins that can damage cells and increase the risk of cancer.

Purple cauliflower season begins in late February; it can be found in specialty grocery stores and farmers markets.

Purple FoodsPlums and Prunes
Plums are a very good source of vitamin C, which can help with iron absorption. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and potassium. In addition, plums are a good source of dietary fiber. A recent study found that regular prune consumption may decrease blood pressure and LDL (the bad) cholesterol. Additionally, both plums and prunes are full of phenols, natural compounds found in plants, which have protective properties.

Plums are available from May to October, and prunes are available year-round at grocery stores and farmers markets.

Purple FoodsPurple Potatoes
Living up to their royal hue and lineage, purple potatoes have long been considered the food of gods — 7,000 years ago they were reserved for Incan kings in their native Peru. Today, purple potatoes are now grown in thousands of varieties in the US. 

According to the USDA, potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes. Purple spuds score as high as Brussels sprouts, kale or spinach on the antioxidant power scale. These potatoes are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid and iron.

Purple potatoes are available year-round, but less so January through April. You can find them in some grocery stores and farmers markets.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

Keep Reading Show less