Science has proven that the darker the food, the higher the level of antioxidants. Antioxidants are vital nutrients that help your body mop up disease-causing free radicals, leaving you looking younger and healthier. Therefore, dark foods with purple pigments will make a vital addition to your diet. Although the color purple is often associated with fruits, there is a wide range of food options, including vegetables and grains. Read on as we share 5 purple foods that are highly nutritious and can enhance your diet.
Black rice, also known as Forbidden rice has a signature black-purple color thanks to its high anthocyanin content. This food gets its unique name from ancient China, where it was forbidden for everyone but royalty due to its amazing taste. Forbidden rice is richer in protein than other forms of rice, and it also contains fiber and iron.
Research shows that the anthocyanins in black rice have strong anti-inflammatory properties and protect you from chronic diseases such as cancer and obesity. Scientists have also associated flavonoids in black rice with decreased risk of heart diseases and improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The benefit of forbidden rice goes beyond its nutritional gain. When cooked, the purple color of the grains can make the most basic meals more visually appealing. You can pair black rice with baked tofu, eggs, and tempeh or use them anywhere you'd use regular white rice.
You can find eggplants in various colors, but the purple-skinned are the most common variants of the fruit vegetable. Eggplants have a decent level of nutrients but what makes them stand out is their high level of antioxidants. They are also rich in manganese, an essential mineral for bone health and metabolism.
The antioxidants in eggplant have been shown to protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. Various studies show that these antioxidants can prevent cell damage and cancer. Adding eggplants to your diet may help keep your blood sugar in check, thanks to their fiber content. Fiber lowers blood sugar by regulating the rate of digestion and absorption.
Eggplant is incredibly versatile, so your options for incorporating it into your diet are unlimited. You can bake, roast, or grill yours or even use it as a low-calorie replacement for other ingredients.
Ripe passion fruits often have a purple or yellow rind covering their tasty flesh and crunchy seeds. This nutritious plant is becoming popular among health-conscious people, and for a good reason. Passion fruit is rich in various nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, and provitamin A. A study has also found the fruit to be richer in polyphenols than several other tropical fruits.
Passion also comes packed with vitamin C, an important antioxidant that supports your immune system and promotes healthy aging. It has a high level of beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A for improved eyesight. Another study indicates that purple passion fruit peels are beneficial to people with asthma.
You have to slice open the purple rind to enjoy this tropical fruit's juicy flesh and seeds. The seeds are edible, so you don't have to separate them from the flesh when eating. You may also use passion fruit to make drinks or add them as toppings for cakes and desserts.
The acai berry is often referred to as a "Brazilian superfruit" due to its origin in the Amazon region. However, it has gained more global popularity as more discoveries are made about its health benefits. The dark purple fruit is nutrient-dense and contains high levels of fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and other trace minerals.
Acai's most beneficial properties come from the anthocyanins, which give the deep purple color. These antioxidants reduce the activities of free radicals, which may lead to dangerous diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Animal studies also suggest that the fruit could improve cholesterol levels by decreasing total and LDL cholesterol.
Fresh acai berries have a short shelf life, so you'll mostly find them in purées, powders, and juices. If you have access to the fruit, you may eat it raw or add it as a topping for cheesecake.
Barley grains can be found in various colors, including black, yellow, and purple. Despite the color difference, most share similar properties and health benefits. All barley types are rich in fiber and minerals. Studies have linked barley's beta-glucan fiber to improved digestive health and immune response.
People who consume diets rich in whole grains like purple barley are at less risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and certain types of cancer. Along with its nutrients, purple barley is packed with anthocyanins, which help prevent neuronal diseases and inflammation.
Barley is very versatile and fits nicely into several regular dishes. You can add barley to your soups and stews or eat it as a side dish replacement for rice. You can also enjoy barley flakes for breakfast instead of oats.
Purple-pigmented foods do not just add color to your plate. They also come with several health benefits. In addition to the perks listed here, many purple foods promote calmness and improve your mood. Support your healthy diet with our pick of nutritious purple-colored foods today.