If you’ve been following me, you’ve probably heard me say “eat the rainbow” a million times. That’s because colorful foods are packed with important antioxidants and other very important nutrients. Each color group has it’s own combination of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plants. They protect us against disease and help keep us healthy.
Here is a very basic list of each color group and it’s benefits
- Red: Very heart healthy and gives strength support to our joints
- Orange: A great source of Vitamin C. Helps keep our eyes healthy
- Yellow: Good for our skin and digestive system
- Green: Helps our entire body and strengthens our immune systems which means less colds
- Purple: Purple/blue foods are excellent for our brains and they help us with our memory and also help keep some cancers away
This post will concentrate on purple. Although there are many purple foods, one of my family’s current favorites is the purple potatoe. Purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are a class of phytonutrients.There is research that suggests that anthocyanins promote eye and heart health, decrease cancer cell proliferation and more. You can find anthocyanins in teas, honey, wines, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, cocoa and cereals.
Today, purple potatoes are grown in thousands of varieties in the US and are available year-round. They can be found in some grocery stores, health food stores and farmers markets. 7,000 years ago they were reserved for Incan kings in their native home Peru. They were considered food for the gods.
According to the USDA website, potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes. Purple potatoes are as nutrient dense as Brussels sprouts, kale or spinach as far as their antioxidant properties go. They have a slightly nutty flavor.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to get more purple into my life:
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