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The Power of Purple: Exploring Purple Fruit & Veges

We all know that eating fresh fruit and vegetables is good for us, but in particular, incorporating purple vegetables into your diet can offer a wealth of health benefits. These colourful veges are not only easy on the eye, but also packed with powerful nutrients that can boost your overall well-being - enter Anthocyanins!

What exactly are Anthocyanins?

Anthocyanins are a type of plant compound with strong antioxidant properties. These compounds are responsible for the red, purple and blue hues in our fresh produce - think red cabbage, red grapes, red kumara and, when in season, blueberries. (Hopefully you have some stashed away in the freezer!)

These compounds have been extensively studied for their health benefits, which include:

  • Antioxidant Effects:  Helping protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals - unstable molecules that can speed up ageing and lead to various diseases.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Reducing inflammation in the body which may be linked to many long-term diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.

  • Heart Health: Lowering blood pressure and controlling cholesterol levels to improve blood vessel function and minimise the risk of heart disease.

  • Brain Health: These compounds boost memory and thinking skills by protecting brain cells from damage, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer's and other brain diseases.

  • Anti-Cancer Properties: Anthocyanins may help stop cancer cells from growing and can trigger them to die off naturally.

On a BBC TV show, How To Stay Young, it was discovered just how important it can be to include purple food in your diet. See this clip here:

A bowl of braised cabbage with apple with a knob of butter in the top and sprinkled with herbs

As luck would have it, red cabbage is on special this week! Here's a fabulous dish from Jamie Oliver for Braised Cabbage with Apple. You can easily skip the bacon for a meat-free version.

Most of the cooking in this recipe is 'hands-off', leaving you time to to do something else for an hour whilst the cabbage is creating its magic on the stove top.

Including purple veges in your diet is a simple and tasty way to boost your overall health, so give your meals a blast of colour and nutrients and grab a selection of purple goodness!


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