Dr. Oz: Purple Foods | The Power Of Purple Foods




Dr. Oz Purple Foods: Dr. Oz The health-boosting power of purple foods; Purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are health-promoting chemicals that help protect cells and heal your body. Research suggests they play active roles in promoting eye and heart health, decreasing cancer cell proliferation and more. Anthocyanins are predominant in teas, honey, wines, fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, cocoa and cereals.

Purple fruits and vegetables, including acai and blueberries, contain important nutrients that have shown many health benefits including anti-aging. These purple antioxidants, called anthocyanins, have been shown to protect the heart and vision, promote mental focus, and prevent oxidative stress. Resveratrol is another fat-soluble compound found in some purple foods, such as grapes, red wine, purple grape juice, peanuts, and some berries. Research has indicated that purple foods may provide a cure for cancer.

List of purple foods includes eggplant, purple carrots, purple cabbage, beets, blueberries, blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries, black currants, plums, elderberries, bilberries, figs, raisins, and pomegranates. The well-advertised acai berries, and Goji berries are also members of the purple family of foods.

Blueberries contain a large amount of antioxidants. Research has shown that eating blueberries can help you lose weight by reducing food cravings. In the study, those who consumed an extract of blueberries reduced their food intake by eight percent. Blueberries have also been shown to reduce cholesterol. Along with cranberries, blueberries help to prevent urinary tract infections because of a nutrient they contain called proanthocyanidin, which lines the urinary tract and prevents bacteria from sticking. Tests have also shown that blueberry consumption slows age-related memory loss.

Purple cabbage contains 36 different types of antioxidants, including the health-giving anthocyanins. There is evidence to suggest that purple cabbage helps build a healthy brain and a healthy heart and acts as a fat burner.

Include these purple fruits and vegetables into your diet at least 4-5 days a week along with dark green, orange and yellow foods for maximum benefits.

Purple Potatoes: Living up to their royal hue and lineage, purple potatoes have long been considered the food of gods — 7,000 years ago they were reserved for Incan kings in their native Peru. Today, purple potatoes are now grown in thousands of varieties in the US.

According to the USDA, potatoes with the darkest colors have more than 4 times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes. Purple spuds score as high as Brussels sprouts, kale or spinach on the antioxidant power scale. These potatoes are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid and iron.

Purple potatoes are available year-round, but less so January through April. You can find them in some grocery stores and farmers markets.

Plums and Prunes: Plums are a very good source of vitamin C, which can help with iron absorption. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and potassium. In addition, plums are a good source of dietary fiber. A recent study found that regular prune consumption may decrease blood pressure and LDL (the bad) cholesterol. Additionally, both plums and prunes are full of phenols, natural compounds found in plants, which have protective properties.

Plums are available from May to October, and prunes are available year round at grocery stores and farmers markets.

Purple Carrots: Purple carrots were first grown in the Middle and Far East, along with white, red, yellow, green and black versions. They are high in anthocyanins and pro-vitamin A carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants. They may also help with weight management and glucose control, and in one study, those with high levels of carotenoids had about half the risk of diabetes.

You can find purple carrots year-round in farmer’s markets and some grocery stores and specialty stores.

Purple Cauliflower: Purple cauliflower is actually a type of broccoli that is purple and turns green upon cooking. Cruciferous vegetables have been touted for their cancer-fighting powers. Cauliflower has antioxidants and sulfur compounds that help your body get rid of the toxins that can damage cells and increase the risk of cancer.

Purple cauliflower season begins in late February; it can be found in specialty grocery stores and farmers markets.

Purple grapes, figs, passion fruit, raisins, plums and dried plums are popular purple fruits, but many berries–blackberries, blueberries, elderberries, cranberries, chokeberries and bilberries–count as purple foods, as well, and are some of the richest sources of anthocyanins. Blue and red fruits like concord grapes, cherries and pomegranates also are considered part of the range of colors included in the family of purple foods and are rich in disease-fighting anthocyanins.

Purple Vegetables: Eggplant is the most familiar purple vegetable, but there are many others. Purple carrots, purple cabbage, purple asparagus and purple-fleshed potatoes are colorful variations of familiar vegetables. Choices also include purple Belgian endive, purple peppers, purple olives and purple asparagus. According to Janet Helm with the Chicago Tribune, local farmers’ markets or specialty catalogs are good places to find purple foods like purple onions and purple kale.

Legumes and Grains: Purple pod pole greens have a vivid purple color that is lost in the cooking process. Also known as royal burgundy and royalty purple, the purple pods turn green when cooked. 



Purple grains include purple rice and purple wheat, which is native to East Africa and is used in breads and baked goods. Purple corn, which is common in Peru and a rich source of six anthocyanin antioxidants, is used to make purple corn flour.