The Color Purple!

by Sue Taggart

Purple (blue/black) fruits and vegetables are packed with healthy nutrients. This time of year, farmers markets are a great place to find the freshest local fresh fruits and vegetables that feature all colors of the rainbow. None are more healthful than the deep purple/blue hues of the anthocyanodins and proanthocyanidins. Just remember to put a little purple on your plate!

Blueberries – low in fat and full of dietary fiber, blueberries are packed with Vitamin C, an excellent source of manganese and full of phytonutrients—polyphenols—that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,.

Blackberries – low in fat , cholesterol and sodium, blackberries are a good source of Vitamin E, folate, magnesium, potassium and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and manganese.

Purple Stringbeans – they may start off purple, but once you start to cook them they turn green! Green beans in general are a healthy choice, and all the varieties and colors including green, yellow, and purple have a similar nutritional profile. They are an excellent source of Vitamins K, C and manganese and a very good source of Vitamin A, potassium, folate, tryptophan and iron.

Beets—a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Beets are alsovery low in saturated fat and cholesterol and a good source of Vitamin C, iron and magnesium. They are an excellent good source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium and manganese.

Red Onions – are one of the best natural sources of quercetin, a bioflavonoid that is particularly well suited for scavenging free radicals. In addition to quercetin, red onions provide allicin and chromium.

Eggplant – this vegetable is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin K, thiamin, Vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber.

Plums – are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B-complex Vitamins, dietary fiber and flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. Also, plums are rich in minerals like potassium, fluoride and iron.

Black grapes – one serving of grapes provides 25 percent of the DV of Vitamin C, as well as calcium, iron and Vitamin A. A good source of lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants that specifically protect the cells of the eye from oxidative damage.

Raddichio – like other chicory class vegetables, is very low in calories, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, Iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E , Vitamin K, folate, potassium, copper and manganese.

Red cabbage – with twice the Vitamin C as regular cabbage, the rich red color of red cabbage is due to its concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols. These flavonoids are said to act as an anti-inflammatory, and play a therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases. In addition to being packed with vitamin C and anthocyanins, red cabbage is packed with fiber, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese, and also contains thiamine, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

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