The Curious Case of ‘Purple Food’
Add to your food plate some purple, they are good for health. Purple foods include grapes, eggplant, blackberries to the not so popular purple cauliflower and cabbage. The purple color in itself is the healthy component — the pigment that give food their purple color are a family of potent antioxidants known as anthocyanins. It is also said, darker the color, higher the anthocyanin concentration, and greater its nutrition benefit.
They are ‘Super Healthy’
Research have found that anthocyanins can lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. They can also help to control obesity and diabetes. They have anti-inflammatory properties, and hence also linked to most chronic diseases.
Do you know how to eat ‘Purple Veggies’
There are a few rules to be kept in mind while cooking Purple food
- Anthocyanins are generally found in the skin of the vegetable, so don’t peel it off
- Like vitamin C, these nutrients are water soluble, hence don’t boil it
- It’s ideal to eat it by roasting or steaming
8 unusual ‘Purple Foods’
Can your bread be purple ?
Purple bread is hailed as ‘First Superfood from the world of baking. According to inventor of purple bread, Professor Zhou Weibiao, purple bread is rich in cancer fighting antioxidants and is digested 20% slower than regular white bread.
Try some Black Rice from China
The kernel of black rice is black in color due to a pigment known as anthocyanin. Black rice is also known as purple rice, forbidden rice, heaven rice and prized rice. This rice is also known as long life rice as it can increase the longevity of life. China cultivates the most black rice followed by Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Philippines. This rice does not contain gluten, free of cholesterol, low in sugar, salt and fat. Black rice can be prepared with ease like any other rice and do not need any sophisticated ingredients.
Florets of Purple cauliflower displays vibrant violet color, but it’s stem and core of the vegetable is cream in color. The entire plant is edible. The stems and trunk are firm and tender and the florets have a dense yet soft and crumbly texture. It’s flavor is milder, sweeter, nuttier and free of any bitterness. A 1-cup serving of fresh purple cauliflower contains about 400 milligrams of anthocyanins.
Purple potatoes are a variety of potato, popular in South America, with purple colored skin and flesh. Again Anthocyanin is the pigment that gives purple color to these potatoes. Purple potatoes are earthy , dry, starchy, and slightly nutty in taste. Purple potato can be uses in any cuisines where normal potatoes are used. It can be roasted, braised, boiled, baked or fried for chips. They taste well with herbs like, garlic, poultry, artichokes, cheese, other starchy vegetables such as corn and salad greens.
Purple carrots are dark violet to reddish purple in color. Purple carrots have higher amounts of antioxidants than orange carrots. In addition to anthocyanin, purple carrots contain high doses of Vitamin A, which helps to prevent clogging of the arteries. They also contain vitamin B, C and E as well as calcium pectate. They are also very useful in the prevention of arthritis and macular degeneration.
Purple corn is no genetically modified food; it has been cultivated in Peru for more than thousands of years. The interesting fact is, if you take this Corn and plant it outside of Peru, it loses its purple color. Purple corn, because of its pigment, have long been used to color foods and beverages. Study published in “The Journal of Nutrition” in 2004, found that one particular type of anthocyanin found in Purple Corn , named CG3, has the potential to fight obesity and diabetes. Purple corn extract also fights blood pressure, kidney disease and has anti-inflammatory properties. Purple Corn Flour is gaining popularity because of its health benefits. It can be used as a substitute for other flours and used to make super food bread, crackers, cakes & biscuits.
Heard of or seen Purple wheat
Purple wheat grain is another great source of anthocyanins. They can also be used as raw material for baking. Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside is the predominant anthocyanin in purple wheat. Canadian scientists are behind this wheat.
Purple Podded Pole Bean
These are 5 – 7 inch long snap beans that are dark purple in color. Their flowers have a lovely shade of lilac and stems are purple; the green leaves are edged in purple. After few minutes of cooking Purple Pod bean pods will turn back to green. They are suitable for eating fresh, canning, sautéing, pickling & many more.
Aren’t you amused reading this post. I too felt the same while researching on them. Would surely love to get my hands on these ‘Unusual Purple Foods’.