Reasons You Should Be Eating More Purple Fruits & Vegetables

Panaimaram

The American Cancer Society recommends having brightly-coloured vegetables for the welfare of your health. Brightly-coloured vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants compounds which play a major role in protecting your bodies against free radicals, thus preventing heart diseases and cancer. Naturally purple-coloured vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants called anthocyanins which give fruits and vegetables their deep purple or blue colour.

1. Purple grapes
2. Figs
3. Passion fruits
4. Raisins
5. Plums and dried plums
6. Blackberries
7. Blueberries
8. Elderberries
9. Cranberries
10. Bilberries
11. Chokeberries

1. Purple carrots
2. Purple cabbages
3. Purple asparagus
4. Purple sweet potatoes
5. Purple olives
6. Purple peppers
7. Purple brinjals
8. Purple cauliflowers
9. Purple onions
10. Purple broccoli
11. Purple artichokes
12. Purple radishes

1. Purple corn
2. Purple rice
3. Purple wheat

According to the US Department of Agriculture, purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins. These anthocyanins can interact with the free radicals and prevent damage to the vital molecules. They protect the cells, heal the body, decrease inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, protect your skin against damage from sunlight and prevent cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

Purple vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and kale contain indoles which are nutrients derived from sulfur compounds that may slow down the metabolism of carcinogens. Carcinogens increase the risk of developing cancer. Consumption of these vegetables reduces the risk of breast, cervical, colorectal and endometrial cancer.

Purple-coloured vegetables are said to be more beneficial than their green counterparts. For instance, purple cabbage is known to have 36 different types of antioxidants and six to eight times more vitamin C than green cabbage.

Even purple carrots contain two times the amount of alpha and beta-carotene than orange carrots which improve the immunity and is good for eye health.

Apart from anthocyanins and indoles, these purple-coloured foods also contain ellagic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibre and other phenols.

These purple foods have powerful health benefits too. Here are some of them:

A study found that anthocyanins help in reducing the formation of stomach ulcers. Researchers believe that they prevent oxidation and boost the activity of other important antioxidants, such as glutathione which is naturally present in your body.

Purple cauliflower, purple carrots and purple cabbage or other purple-coloured fruits can fight against urological diseases. Anthocyanins can prevent the ulcers and inflammation caused by H. pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and urological diseases (bladder lymphoma).

Purple-coloured foods are good for the heart because they have the ability to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 13 per cent while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Increased levels of LDL cholesterol leads to the formation of plaques in the arterial walls. This blocks the natural flow of blood to your heart and the entire body, thereby leaving you at a severe risk of heart attack and stroke.

Purple grapes, bilberries, cranberries and blueberries contain resveratrol, a flavonoid that can help decrease blood pressure. Many studies have shown that resveratrol can induce cancer cell death in blood cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, liver and lung cancer. Purple sweet potato has the potent ability to protect against colon cancer.

Resveratrol further aids in relaxing the arterial walls allows better blood circulation and decreases the pressure in the arteries.

Anthocyanins help in reducing chronic inflammation which is one of the underlying causes of many diseases like Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, asthma, allergies, arthritis and joint disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Purple sweet potatoes are known to have memory-enhancing effects according to a study published in the Archives of Pharmacal Research. The anthocyanins help prevent age-related decline of the nervous system while promoting learning and memory.

One of the best methods of consuming them is to have them raw, steamed or roasted. By doing so, you will get a boost of anthocyanins as they are water soluble and are able to dissolve in water. Add these foods to your breakfast, lunch, salads and desserts.

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