Pur­ple foods

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.

Shape (Malaysia) - - Contents - By MARNIE SOMAN SCHWARTZ

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.

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