The last 40 years Tom and I breakfast with fruits. Back then we didn’t vary a lot. One reason being there wasn’t that much available and the other one that we were not as much into trying new things as we are nowadays. Apple, orange and banana – that was about it.
My father had Alzheimer’s, so whenever I read or hear something about preventing this dreadful disease I am all eyes and ears. Blueberries are said to benefit your brain immensely, making me include them in my breakfast almost every day now.
There are more reasons to add blue and purple food to your plate.
Natural and cultivated dark food
Nowadays there are several blue and purple vegetables cultivated on purpose. But a fun fact is that carrots were cultivated orange on purpose. Until the 17th century they used to be purple! The Dutch are to blame, I am afraid, because of the – in later time royal – House of Orange (Oranje-Nassau).
Purple and blue vegetables:
- Purple cabbage
- Purple onion
- Purple pepper
- Blue potato
- Purple kohlrabi
- Purple asparagus
- Blue tomato
Purple and blue fruit:
- Pitaya (dragon fruit)
- Purple grape (Concord)
- Plum (Damson)
- Black olive
All those difficult words!
Blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, red grapes and plums are stuffed with natural blue-purple pigments, known as anthocyanins. Yet another difficult word with healthy benefits. 🙂
The purple fruit should be as ripe as possible for maximum effect. The anthocyanin content is then at its highest level. Also these levels increase the darker the color is.
Want to know the best part?
Research has shown that anthocyanins have a positive effect on weight management by increasing metabolism and regulating blood sugar levels.
By adding some purple, blue or black fruits and vegetables to your diet, you benefit from a great source of anti-free radical substances. They not only look good on a plate, but contain antioxidants like their red brothers and sisters do!
Blueberries for brains
Scientists suspect that anthocyanins have a beneficial effect on our brain and memory. Animal studies have shown that anthocyanins end up in the brain, exactly in the area of memory and learning. The higher the level there, the smarter the animals were and aged better.
Blackberries for strong bones
Dark fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamin K. Which is good for your bone structure. Scientists say a lack of vitamin K may contribute to osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become weak and fragile.
Elderberry is a popular plant medicine
This blue-purple fruit strengthens your immune system thus helping you defend yourself against a cold and flu. It helps people to recover faster from these diseases.
Plums for ‘the big message’
I think this Dutch expression is called going for the number 2 in the States. Or doing a private business on the toilet. However you call it, it can be a real nuisance if you can’t go to the toilet for this at least once a day.
The Damson plums and prunes (the dried version) are the best kind. These are often used in jams and marmalades.
Include purple food in your nutrition list
Overall you may presume that foods with a high anthocyanin content can promote heart health and reduce your risk of overweight, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and other diseases.
Beetroot salad recipe
This is simple and at the same time very tasty recipe with two kinds of purple food: beetroot and raisins. We eat it quite often.
Ingredients (all organic of course):
- Depending the size of the beetroots and the amount of people that are served, use between 4 to 8 beetroots. Don’t forget to adjust the following ingredients to the amount of beetroots you use.
- ½ a Pineapple (preferably fresh).
- 1 Apple.
- A handful of raisins.
- A handful of roasted cashew nuts.
- 2 to 4 eggs.
- Pickled silverskin onions.
- Pickled cucumber.
- Mayonnaise (vegan or you can also use olive oil and vinegar if you prefer).
- Boil the beetroots. Not too soft.
- Boil the eggs (10 minutes).
- Let the beetroots and eggs cool down. Afterwards, cut them in small parts.
- Cut the pineapple and apple in small parts.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add the mayonnaise.
Ready. You can add some green color to the plates if you serve the beetroot-mix on green salad leafs.
Have a nice meal and stay healthy!