We would all like to feel like a superhero, you know all powerful and able to conquer the world and by increasing your intake of purple foods you can actually give your wellbeing a serious boost.
All brightly coloured fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants – compounds which play a key role in protecting our bodies – but many naturally purple-coloured foods contain a certain antioxidant called anthocyanin which is both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. These are beneficial plant pigments which give fruit and veg their deep red, purple or blue hues.
Research has linked anthocyanins to a wide variety of health claims, including increased longevity- the Purple Sweet Potato is regularly eaten on the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is home to an exceptionally healthy elderly population – with a large number over the age of 100, and rates of dementia reported to be up to 50% lower than in the West. It is also claimed that purple foods can help prevent cancer and improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure. More studies are being carried out but in the meantime adding some purple power to your diet can only help your health and wellbeing.
‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ as Hippocrates once said!
So to get you started here’s a simple recipe for you to try from my Nutritionist pal Ali Prentice -the Purple Power Smoothie. You can have it for breakfast, or post exercise as the beetroot supports muscle recovery.
Here’s what Ali says,
It’s full of vitamins and minerals and two portions of your veg and fruit target for the day. With its balance of protein, carbs, fibre and healthy fats this smoothie should keep you going for many hours.
Purple Power Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
1 cup of blackberries
250ml unsweetened plant based milk (eg soya, almond, or hemp)
2 tablespoons of plain unsweetened yogurt – you could use soya yogurt
1 vacu-packed cooked beetroot; or one grated raw beetroot
1 eating apple – cored and chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
One tablespoon of linseeds
100ml of apple juice
100ml of prune juice
Optional: ½ banana – frozen if possible
Optional: Blackberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, plus chia seeds, hemp seeds - to dress the smoothie
1. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. You can experiment with the quantities of liquid to get the consistency you like best.
2. You can also dress with blackberries, blueberries, pomegranate (or any of your favourite berries) and sprinkle over some chia seeds or hemp seeds. That’s it!
If you are using this as a post exercise smoothie, add in a scoop of protein powder to help your muscles recover.
Go on, give it a whirl and be your own purple power superhero!
Written material copyright of Rachel Lawrence.
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