We are aware of the health benefits of eating a well-balanced diet but what’s so healthy about blue and purple foods, you may ask. For starters, blue and purple-coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in anthocyanins and resveratrol. These health-boosting phytochemicals are loaded with antioxidants. However, if you want to add some blue and purple to your plate, the options are quite limited. Worry not, we’ve rounded a list of 5 purple and blue foods you can easily pick up on your next trip to the grocery store.
Blueberries contain a plant compound called anthocyanin which gives these berries both their blue colour and many of their health benefits. These berries are also a good source of iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K. Each of these help in the building and maintenance of bone structure and strength. These tiny treats are also loaded with fibre and vitamin C, an essential nutrient that helps prevent and reverse skin damage. Since blueberries are low in sodium, consuming them on a daily basis also helps to maintain your blood pressure levels. You could simply throw a generous topping of fresh or frozen blueberries over your waffles, pancakes, bowl of yoghurt, oatmeal or cereal. Another option is to simply blend them in a smoothie or sneak them into your baked goodies.
Rich in dietary fibre, vitamins B1 and K, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and folate – it is for this reason that eggplant or brinjal is often called the ‘king of all vegetables’. Making this veggie a part of your daily diet could also mean good news for your heart and waist. Eggplant helps to maintain the cholesterol levels in your body and aids in weight loss. As brinjals also contain a good amount of iron and calcium, this vegetable also helps to maintain your bone health and overall strength. While frying them is the tastiest way to sneak in their health benefits into your daily diet, you could also boil, bake or grill them. A point to note, since brinjals are a part of the nightshade family of vegetables, they are known to cause allergic reactions.
Fresh or dried, plums are packed with many vitamins and minerals, in addition to fibre and antioxidants. Snack on a handful of plums or simply begin your day with a glass of freshly prepared plum juice to help relieve constipation or any digestive problems. Since they are low in calories, they make for a perfect snack to gorge on between meals. Plums also help to maintain bone health and may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes thanks to their polyphenol antioxidant content. Additionally, plums are known to have a low glycemic index so snacking on them can help regulate your blood sugar levels and also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. You can eat them on their own or simply blend them into your smoothies, juices or add them to your salads.
The deep purple colour of this veggie is due to a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, making it have even more rich in phytonutrients than a regular green cabbage. This veggie is a powerhouse of vitamins A, C and K, dietary fibre and also potassium. Apart from making for a great addition to your salads and sabzis, purple cabbage is also good for your skin, courtesy the antioxidants.
There’s so much more to these tiny treats than merely decorating your fruit bowls or sinful desserts. Packed with antioxidants, right from carotenoids to polyphenols, grapes are good for your eyes, skin, bones and even gut. Grapes are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent signs of ageing. However, it’s important that you don’t gorge yourself silly on these small treats as they are loaded with sugar. One to two cups a day is what you should be aiming for. The sweet and tarty flavour of grapes also makes for a great addition to your jams and sauces.
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