Deeplypy hued foods are ppacked with nutrients and rich flavour,, which is whyy the best chefs are all over them. Here’s how to eat the prettiest part of the rainbow.
THE PURPLE bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes popping up at your farmers market might seem like crazy new food hybrids, but the colour is actually what you find in the wild, says Dr. Mary Ann Lila, the director of the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. And that wild factor is what makes these foods better for you than conventionally farm grown, she adds. To survive sans chemicals or human help, veggies naturally produce more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals for protection from the elements; when you eat them, you get a bigger dose of healthy compounds.
The purple pigment packs nutrition power too. “The anthocyanins that give foods this brilliant hue are associated with cardiovascular benefits and cancer-fighting abilities,” Lila says. The payoffs are full body: The compounds in purple carrots and potatoes may prevent inflammation and increase antioxidant activity, a Canadian study in the Journal of Functional Foods found. These kaleidoscopic beauties can even affect your weight, Lila says, since their colour may help keep you full.
Then there’s the optics. Purple veggies can really dress up a dish—another reason why chefs love finding new ways to play with the pops of color.
You can swap purple foods into any recipe— start with the innovative dishes here.
LIVING COLOUR Check the markets for purple versions of your favourite veggies.