There is a wide range of health benefits associated with eating foods that naturally have a purple colour, thanks to the high concentration of potent plant components they contain.
Despite the common association of purple with berries and grapes, many vegetables and grains are also a vibrant shade of purple.
Listed here are 16 visually stunning and nutritionally sound purple dishes.
One of the most well-known purple fruits is the blackberry. These delicious berries have powerful anthocyanin colours and are full of healthy nutrients.
The polyphenolic pigments called anthocyanins are responsible for the blue, purple, and red hues in many different types of food. The other plants and grains on this list are rich in them as well.
They have powerful antioxidant effects, preventing cell damage and inflammation that can have harmful effects on health.
Health benefits of anthocyanins are multifaceted. Consuming anthocyanin-rich foods, such as blackberries, may reduce the risk of developing a variety of debilitating diseases (1Trusted Source).
Blackberries are an excellent source of many important nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, as well as fibre and other polyphenol antioxidants. Blackberries are packed with healthy elements, making them a great option for a sweet snack (2Trusted Source). One of the most well-known purple fruits is the blackberry. The nutrient-rich and powerful anthocyanin hues found in these delicious berries are well worth the effort of eating them.
Purple, blue, and red pigments in foods are called anthocyanins, and they are a form of polyphenol chemical. They are abundant in the remaining fresh produce and whole grains.
They have powerful antioxidant effects, preventing cellular damage and inflammation that can have harmful effects on your health.
The health benefits of anthocyanins are multifaceted. Consuming anthocyanin-rich foods, such as blackberries, may reduce the risk of developing a variety of debilitating diseases (1Trusted Source).
Blackberries are an excellent source of many important nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, as well as fibre and other polyphenol antioxidants. Blackberries are packed with healthy elements, making them a great option for a sweet snack (2Trusted Source).
“Forbidden rice,” or black rice (Oryza sativa L. indica), is a special type of rice that turns a deep purple colour when cooked (3Trusted Source).
Highly coloured forbidden rice, in contrast to other rice kinds, has a great source of anthocyanins, which may have anti-cancer benefits.
Cancer cell growth inhibition and cancer cell death induction have both been shown with black rice anthocyanins in in vitro and in vivo studies (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
This beautiful grain can replace white or brown rice in a variety of dishes, adding a splash of colour to dishes like soups, stir-fries, and pilafs.
3.Purple sweet potatoes
Vitamin C, provitamin A, potassium, and the B vitamins are just a few of the vitamins and minerals found in sweet potatoes. The anthocyanin antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes are an extra bonus (6Trusted Source).
In vitro and in vivo studies on animals suggest that purple sweet potatoes may have anti-inflammatory qualities and protect against obesity and some forms of cancer, including colon cancer (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
In place of the more usual orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes are a delicious and versatile alternative.
Although eggplants can be found in a wide range of colours, purple-skinned varieties seem to be the most widely available.
Eggplants, while not as nutrient-dense as some of the other foods on this list, are rich in antioxidants and manganese, a mineral vital to bone health and metabolism (10Trusted Source).
Studies on animals and in vitro have demonstrated that the anthocyanin nasunin found in the peel of purple eggplants has anti-inflammatory and heart-protective characteristics (11Trustworthy Source, 12).
The cruciferous vegetable known as purple cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) is a sight to behold. Intensely purple cauliflower is the result of a genetic mutation that also gives them a high anthocyanin content, unlike the white types (13Trusted Source).
Purple cauliflower is a beautiful addition to any dish, but it also has health advantages, including possibly lowering your risk of colon cancer and reducing inflammation (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower has been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and an increased likelihood of survival to old age (16 Trusted Source, 17 Trusted Source).
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Carrots come in a variety of colours, but the purple kind is especially rich in polyphenol antioxidants including anthocyanins, cinnamic acid, and chlorogenic acid, which give the carrots their distinctively sweet flavour and crunchy texture.
Polyphenols are key antioxidants, and studies have shown that persons whose diets are high in them had lower risks of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
Since purple carrots have a higher concentration of polyphenol antioxidants than regular carrots, they are a good choice for those looking to improve their health through diet (20Trusted Source).
The reddish-purple Redbor kale is just as nutritious as any other kind. Kaempferol, quercetin, and p-coumaric acid are just a few of the 47 potent plant chemicals detected in Redbor kale extract, according to a recent study (21Trusted Source).
Redbor kale is frequently utilised as an ornamental plant to enhance the aesthetic appeal of gardens and planters due to its unique colour and fascinating texture.
Nonetheless, it can be consumed and provides significant nutritional value. It can be substituted for other leafy greens in any recipe calling for them.
The tropical vine Passiflora edulis is grown for its tasty fruits, which are commonly known as passion fruit. When ripe, passion fruits have a yellow or purple exterior that conceals a delicious, velvety interior studded with crunchy seeds.
The passion fruit polyphenol antioxidant piceatannol has been demonstrated to have various exceptional health-promoting effects and may be especially good for skin health.
Piceatannol, which was extracted from passion fruit, was found to shield skin cells from UV radiation in a petri dish investigation. Another study in 32 women with dry skin found that 5 mg of piceatannol taken daily for 8 weeks resulted in better hydrated skin (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
Mangosteens, which are produced by the Garcinia mangostana tree, have been cultivated in tropical regions for thousands of years due to their distinctively pleasant aroma and beautiful deep purple colour.
The acidic, slightly sweet fruit of the mangosteen lies beneath a thick, deep purple peel.
Folate, a B vitamin crucial for numerous metabolic functions, including DNA synthesis and red blood cell maintenance, may be found in abundance in mangosteens (24Trusted Source).
Some studies have found that the xanthone antioxidants included in these unusual fruits have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anticancer effects.
Asparagus occurs in a variety of colours, including white and purple, despite its common association with the colour green.
With its vibrant colour and plenty of vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant components, purple asparagus is a great addition to any dish. A lot of anthocyanins can be found in it.
The polyphenol plant pigment rutin, found in purple asparagus in the highest quantity, may have potent heart-protective and anticancer qualities (26Trusted Source, 27, 28Trusted Source).