Purple Palate

Published March 5th, 2019

Purple Palate

Fresh Thyme offers a rainbow of vegetables—and the violet ones are the best of the bunch!

Purple veggies contain more antioxidants than any other color of produce. They’re loaded with anthocyanins, which are the phytochemicals responsible for purple pigment. Anthocyanins have health-protective effects, including lowering high cholesterol, boosting the immune system, and reducing risks for heart disease and some cancers.

One caveat: Cooking these purple delights not only dulls the pretty hues, but also lowers the amount of anthocyanins. Aim to include the power of purple in the form of sliced raw vegetables in salads and appetizer trays, or sauté quickly and lightly to preserve their health benefits.

Your local Fresh Thyme Farmers Market carries violet veggies at the ripest and most flavorful peak. Check the Produce department often for what’s in season!

Purple Palate

Sweet Potatoes
A powerhouse of nutrition, Japanese sweet potatoes are an outstanding source of vitamin A: One medium potato delivers about 200 percent of the daily recommendation. Purple outside and vivid white (sometimes yellow) on the inside, this tuber is high in potassium and loaded with anthocyanins and antioxidants to fight against damaging free radicals.

Beets
The richer the color of foods you eat, the more antioxidants you consume, and beets are among the most vivid. Beets also may help lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and improve cardiovascular health in general.

Turnip
Packed with vitamin C and fiber, purple-top turnips may promote immune health and aid in digestion. Eat the leaves, too, which are rich in calcium and folate.

Carrot
Good for the eyes, right? Studies suggest that the anthocyanins in purple carrots can enhance night vision, increase circulation within the retina, and help ward off macular degeneration.

Eggplant
These glossy dark fruits contain an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, including fiber, folate, potassium, and magnesium, as well as various vitamins and micronutrients. Eggplant also contains the anthocyanin nasunin, which helps neutralize damaging free radicals.

Onion
Purple (or red) onions have quercetin (an antioxidant) in addition to a bevy of anthocyanins. All work hard to reduce inflammation and to protect against cancer.

Cauliflower
A mere ½ cup of fresh purple cauliflower provides 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. Found in any shade of lavender to plum, this vegetable may help control weight and boost heart health.

Cabbage
Dollar for dollar, purple cabbage yields the highest quantity of antioxidants compared to other vegetables. Just 1 cup provides 85 percent of vitamin C for the day.

Radicchio
Rich in antioxidants that boost health, wellness, and energy, radicchio also promotes bile production—which in turn aids digestion and may reduce cholesterol.

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