Growing up we are told to eat our greens to stay healthy, happy and strong. But, as it turns out we might be better off packing our plates with purple. From potatoes to berries, produce with a purple hue are gaining popularity for their outstanding health benefits. Why? Purple foods have a natural purple pigment due to an antioxidant called anthocyanin. As more of this antioxidant is present, the darker colored it is. It helps fight against free radicals and helps maintain a healthy body. Recent statistics report that four in five Australians are not eating sufficient amounts of fruits or vegetables, meaning they’re missing out on opportunities to charge their bodies with much-needed nutrients. Make sure you’re meeting your daily quota with the four-superfoods-you-should-be-fuelling-your-body-with, as healthy as they are delicious:
Acai berries king of antioxidants, has more antioxidants than other popular sources like blueberries, strawberries and pomegranates. They help protect your body from free radicals, molecules that are created when your body breaks down food or is exposed to environmental toxins.
Beetroot is a nutritional powerhouse; packed packed with phytonutrients called betalains that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to the body. Beetroot is also one of the richest dietary sources of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates.
Blueberries contain antioxidants called polyphenols which help to support optimum health and vitality. The rich colour from blueberries comes from anthocyanin which are antioxidants that neutralise free radicals.
Eggplants are a great source of fibre, folate, manganese and antioxidants. They are also low in carbohydrates that makes them the perfect addition to a healthy weight loss plan.
We know we said four, but if you can get your hands on some Purple Sweet Potatoes – your body will thank you for it in the long run. They’re commonly eaten on the Japanese island of Okinawa which is home to an exceptionally healthy elderly population. As well as a large number of residents over the age of 100, dementia rates are also almost 50 percent lower than those in the West. While this cannot be solely attributed to the power of purple sweet potato; it definitely isn’t hurting! They also contain more than four times as many antioxidants as standard Russet potatoes!
So, why choose purple produce over any other colour? Well, read it for yourself:
1. Glowing Skin
That’s right! Purple foods, particularly cherries and lavender, help promote blood circulation. Lavender oil contains phytonutrient perillyl alcohol that has strong anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, which can be used to treat skin ailments like acne, wrinkles, cuts and burns.
2. Heart Friendly
Purple fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and are nutrient rich. This can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease. Blackcurrants can help to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while raising ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
3. Helps Prevent Infection
If you suffer from UTIs or stomach ulcers than purple is your new favourite colour! Anthocyanin has been shown to fight H. pylori – the bacteria responsible for infections and ulcers. The flavonoids found in purple produce also have anti microbial properties that can help you get rid of staph infections. Bonus! But, of course, we’d always recommend that you check in with the Doc!
4. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation in the body can come in any form – digestive issues, diabetes, arthritis. Fuelling your body with antioxidant rich purple produce is a great place to start to aid in eradicating these aches and pains.
Doc Tip: Purple sweet potato, eggplants, red onion, and purple cabbage are all considered to contain anti-inflammatory components and you can add them to your diet to soothe and repair damaged cells causing inflammation and disease.
5. Keep Your Brain Healthy
Eating purple foods can help you think more clearly and help in slowing down neuro-degenerative diseases as we age by increasing neuronal signalling to the brain, improving memory functions, and glucose disposal to brain cells – all of which contribute to maintaining great brain health and preventing cognitive decline.
Doc Tip: Figs and purple carrots are also revered for their ability to protect against macular degeneration and promote weight loss to keep you looking and feeling young!
The good news is, to reap these amazing health rewards, incorporating purple into your diet doesn’t have to be hard. Whether you sprinkle some berries on your cereal, add some beetroot to your salad or swap white potatoes for purple at dinner, it’s incredibly simple to do.
The Doctor’s Kitchen Australia incorporates premium quality produce from every colour of the rainbow to create nutritional, delicious meals and menus that can aid you on your path to health and wellness. You can book in with one of our Docs at our HQ at Carina. Or now, at the Rosalie Milton Clinic, to get started on the Doc’s weight loss meals.
The Doctor’s Kitchen and our doctors service all Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Toowoomba, Ipswich and Toowoomba areas.
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