Eat the Rainbow: Go Purple for Your Heart and Your BrainAuthor: Diplomat Pharmacy Date: February 14, 2020
Purple fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients that can help your brain function better, protect you against heart disease, and even lower your risk of cancer. A “purple” food can actually be purple or blue — and the deeper the color, the more nutrients it has.
What are phytonutrients?
The helpful nutrients in fruits and vegetables are called phytonutrients. These chemicals help plants thrive and defend themselves against predators, but they also have many different health benefits for humans. It’s important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to give your body the phytonutrients it needs.
What phytonutrients are in purple fruits and vegetables?
Purple and blue foods are packed with phytonutrients called anthocyanins. Some of these foods also have resveratrol, quercetin, and catechins — and purple beets have unique phytonutrients called betalains.
What health benefits do purple fruits and vegetables have?
- They help your heart.
- Anthocyanins help to soften the walls of your blood vessels and keep blood flowing smoothly, which helps to control your blood pressure.
- Quercetin helps to control blood cholesterol levels and keep blood vessels healthy.
- They help your brain.
- Anthocyanins might help your brain cells work together more efficiently.
- Early research suggests that betalains can boost brain function.
- They help fight cancer.
- Resveratrol might help protect against cell damage that can lead to cancer.
- Anthocyanins, quercetin, and catechins have all shown the potential to fight cancer.
- They protect against diabetes.
- Anthocyanins appear to help control insulin levels in the blood.
- The betalains in beets might also help modulate blood sugar.
Purple Recipes to Try
Purple foods are a delicious way to help your heart work better and easier, while potentially boosting your brain function as well. Here are some simple and fun recipes to get you started on the “purple journey” to better health.
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