Food glorious food! Here is part 5 of the series on eating a rainbow diet where we explore each color in the food we eat and the benefits of each.
The blue/purple hues in foods are due primarily to their anthocyanin content. The darker the blue hue, the higher the phytochemical concentration. They are also rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are the most abundant and powerful of all the phytochemicals contained in the foods we eat.
There are many categories of flavonoids. One group of flavonoids helps make our blood vessels healthier, meaning a healthier cardiovascular system and lower risk of heart disease. Flavonoids are also very beneficial in reversing the short-term memory loss associated with aging. In addition, they help improve our motor skills, which we rely on for walking and sitting, as well as more delicate movements using our hands, wrists, fingers, and toes.
Flavonoids may play a big role in cancer prevention and in slowing the first stages of cancer development. Moreover, one group of flavonoids called proanthocyanidins helps prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. If bacteria can’t stick anywhere it can’t multiply and cause an infection. As a result, eating foods like blueberries and cranberries may be one step in helping to prevent urinary tract infections.
Purple food: Mother nature gifts us – Indoles, Ellagic Acid, and Anthocyanins
Indoles: Good Sources: purple cauliflower, purple cabbage
Benefits: Derived from sulfur compounds in cruciferous veggies, these may slow the metabolism of carcinogens.
Ellagic Acid: Good Sources: berries
Benefits: The phytochemical may lessen the effect of estrogen in promoting breast-cancer cell growth.
Anthocyanins: Good Sources: red cabbage, eggplant, grapes, berries
Benefits: These antioxidants improve brain function and balance, and they may reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Blue/purple foods to eat
- Dried plums/prunes
- Purple cabbage
- Purple potatoes
By including all the colors of the rainbow from fruits and vegetables, you are ensuring that your body is receiving all the nutrients and color energy it needs to stay healthy and balanced.
Like everything in life, balance and variation bring us everything we need. Our mission here on ‘Create your Color Story’ is to explore the benefits of including each of the colors in our diet and share recipes to help us all enjoy eating a rainbow on a daily basis. Think about your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates. How many colors are represented?