You already knew that eating a variety of brightly colored vegetables daily is good for health: red, orange, yellow, dark green, but now you can add purple veggies to the list. Scientists at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada found that purple vegetables are associated with higher levels of antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer and heart disease.
Purple vegetables were found by the scientists to have high levels of anthocyanins and an even stronger antioxidant activity than other varieties of the same vegetable.
So what exactly are anthocyanins? Here’s a brief flashback to your last science lesson. Anthocyanins are the phytochemicals responsible for purple pigments in vegetables such as purple carrots, potatoes and tomatoes.
Antioxidants are substances such as vitamin E and vitamin C, or beta carotene, thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. In addition to being high in antioxidants, purple vegetables are known to help slow the rate of glucose production, which helps maintain blood sugar levels, crucial for those living with diabetes.
Researchers have also found that eating purple potatoes can help lower blood pressure without the added weight gain. Looks like purple is the new “It” color of the year!