Purple sweet potatoes ()Purple sweet potatoes () © Copyright

Purple reigns

If you want to hit big numbers on Insta, your food’s gotta look more ‘Ribena’.

The food influencers and nutritionists of the world are continually showing us new information about ways to up our game diet-wise – wheatgrass, five-a-day, quinoa, how to poo more – and right now, the industry is banging on about how we need to eat purple foods.

We originally put this in the Bonkers Billy Bob Thornton school of diets (back in the late ’90s, reports emerged that he would only eat orange food), but there mighty actually be some good science behind the whole purple thing.

Nutritionists and scientists have agreed that purple foods typically have high levels of something called anthocyanin, which, without getting too technical, is
a powerful antioxidant. As we all know, they have a big role to play in preventing diabetes and obesity, reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Purple cabbage ()


The BBC’s How To Stay Young team visited the Japanese Island of Okinawa – which has one of the highest number of centenarians in the world – and found that inhabitants eat masses of Okinawa purple sweet potatoes that are famously high in anthocyanin (53mg per 100g).

If your local supermarket is fresh out of purple sweet potatoes, go for the humble blackcurrant, which has a greater concentration (592mg per 100g) – but beware, it’s only the whole, unprocessed fruit that has the magic numbers.

So, next time you go shopping, head to the veg aisle and shop purple – we’re talking purple broccoli, beetroot, carrots, aubergines, grapes, cabbage and sweet potato. You’ll thank us in 100 years.

Want expert food advice and tasty recipes? Check out FS magazine's nutrition section.  

Images: Thinkstock


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