Rainbow Diet: Blue and Purple
Blue and purple food have many overlapping food items and benefits so we decided to put them into one category. The food in this category is well known for their high level of anthocyanin, which gives them their deep dark pigment. These are one of the most potent antioxidants and provide many health benefits for the body.
There have been many studies conducted with the anthocyanin that induces its ability to prevent cancer and other diseases. These studies have shown that foods with this particular pigment could reduce esophagus cancer by 60%, and decrease cholesterol levels by 13.7%. It has also been shown to improve age induced short-term memory loss and prevents urinary tract infections like E.coli by keeping bacteria from sticking to cells within the body. Additionally, the food that contains this pigment has also shown to lower risk of metabolic syndrome, gum disease, and stomach ulcers while keeping the eyes healthy!
More specifically speaking, grape seed extracts have been shown to prevent atherosclerosis, gastric ulcer, cataracts, and diabetes while the grapes themselves have shown to be effective against heart and nerve diseases. Additionally, blueberries and blackberries have also shown to reduce risk for breast and colon cancer while being high in potassium, which counters high-salt diets and lowers blood pressure. Plums and figs contain a lot of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin c, and fiber. Even the herbs with this pigment such as lavender and purple basil have shown to have a lot of nutritional benefits such as helping blood circulation, insomnia, anxiety, migraines, and depression.
This color category consists of: blueberries, blackberries, grapes, plums, figs, raisins, eggplant, purple cabbage, juneberries, prunes, black olives, black currants, concord grapes, elderberries, purple asparagus, purple carrots, purple Belgian endive, purple fleshed potatoes, black salsify, purple peppers, lavender, and purple basil.
You can incorporate these into your smoothies, porridge, yogurt, or pudding. The eggplant can be especially delicious with tomato sauce; including it in your pastas, lasagnas, and ratatouille dishes would be a delightful addition to your meals. You could also make coleslaw with the purple cabbage instead of the green ones to add a splash of color to your meal.
As always, we’ve included a red cabbage apple salad with blue cheese recipe for this food category provided by toriavey.com.
1 head of red cabbage, shredded
2 red apples (gala or fuji recommended), sliced thinly or chopped small
6 dates, chopped
½ cup green onion, chopped
½ cup fresh mind, torn into small pieces
½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
¾ cup blue cheese crumbles
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 ½ tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 ½ tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ tbsp. honey
¼ tsp salt
1. In a mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and salt until well combined.
2. Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing until the salad is evenly covered and ingredients are well mixed. Add the dressing to taste– you may not need all of it depending on personal preference. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, if desired. Serve.
For more information on this topic, please feel free to read these articles:
http://gentleworld.org/phytochemicals-eating-from-the-rainbow/#Health Benefits of: Blue/Purple Fruits and Veggies