Healthy Eating Purple Gain
Eat more purple as well as greens
Last week the purple potato went on sale in the UK. Are there any nutritional benefits to eating brightly-coloured vegetables?
Purple Majesty potato
This spud gets its deep, disconcerting colour from pigments known as anthocyanins. These pigments have antioxidant properties and may help to prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol and lessen the risk of platelets clumping, thus thinning the blood and preventing blood clots.
Purple sprouting broccoli
When you choose to eat purple broccoli as well as the vitamins in ordinary broccoli, such as C and E, you are adding also some extra purple-coloured antioxidants as well as potassium, that helps to control blood pressure
The rich colour is due mainly to a group of pigments known as betacyanins. It has been shown that a 250ml glass of beetroot juice a day relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Beetroot also contains betaine, that helps to lower homocysteine in blood, which in high levels can clog arteries.
Sloes are a variety of wild damson that grow on blacktorn bushes. Not necessarily associated with medicinal or health benefit many people derive great pleasure in sipping home made sloe gin – not the weak expensive branded version but fortified and sweetened to taste.
Lollo Rosso lettuce
Most lettuce has the yellow pigment lutein that helps to protect eyes from sun damage and beta-carotene thought to be helpful for heart and lung health and to help protect skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Lollo Rosso also has quercetin, a supernutrient thought to help fight viruses.
The deeply pigmented purple is only found in the skin, so to reap the benefits, make sure that you eat the skin, as you will in dishes such as ratatouille, roasted aubergine and moussaka. Aubergines also give us the supernutrients known as saponins which help to lower cholesterol.