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Purple Reign

How Purple Foods Can Slow The Aging Process

Written by CitiHealth

When it comes to some of the most nutritious, anti-aging foods around - pick purple. Think eggplant, purple/red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, and Belgian endive. There's also purple bell peppers, purple asparagus, and even purple carrots. For an easy way to add some highly nutritious purple to your day, toss some purple kale into a salad. Of course, you can also gain health benefits from plums, cranberries, beets, or the more exotic purple cauliflower. You'll even see blue and purple potatoes — which happen to have three times the anthocyanin content of white ones. Smaller than baking potatoes they have a natural buttery flavor, so you'll have no trouble eating them without added fat.

The purple pigment that gives these fruits and veggies their brilliant color holds the key to better health for your body and your taste buds. Purple fruits and vegetables contain a variety of phytochemicals important to health that are lacking in green, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables that so many people put on their plates. The phytonutrients responsible for the purple color (usually in the phenol or anthocyanin category) are helpful in slowing down the processes of aging. But, healthy skin and diminished wrinkles aside, purple phytonutrients also enhance the health of your urinary tract and memory functions. Furthermore, according to a study known as the NHANES analysis, people who eat purple vegetables have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, a common metabolic disorder that's a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. The NHANES analysis also showed that purple fruit and vegetable eaters have lower blood pressures and smaller waist circumferences.

Purple Pointers

While taste is on the tongue of the betaster, when it comes to veggies, the purple varieties are said to be sweeter than their green counterparts. 'Purple Passion' asparagus is reported to be sweeter and more tender than green asparagus. However, the purple color 'greens' during cooking of most vegetables. To retain as much nutrition and color, don't overcook vegetables. Adding a spritz of lemon juice or vinegar to the vegetables during cooking may help to produce a prettier final product. Farmers markets and some grocery stores have added color oddities to their veggie varieties, but you may have to grow your own purple preferences.

So, with an eye for beauty, look for these highly healthy vegetables in your local market. Prince would be so proud.

Article Reviewed: July 11, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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