For a princely meal, let purple reign

Posted: August 16, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Deep purple eggplant, plums and blackberries. So elegant and regal in their coloring.

Each is plentiful in the produce aisle these days, and each offers a rich source of health-producing phytochemicals, or nutrients found in specific foods because of their hue. Deep purple and bluish foods are believed to lower the risk of some cancers, to improve urinary tract health and memory function and to help with the overall aging process.

"These foods contain plant properties . . . which have protective properties against a lot of disease," said Cristen Hester, dietetic intern with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Also, adding colors to your plate "gives you variety," she said. "It gives you a chance to get more than one antioxidant, more than one flavor and a chance to experiment and learn." For the record, antioxidants are substances that prevent food from spoiling and, within the body, are thought to help prevent disease.

For your purple choices, try a handful of blackberries plain, over ice cream or in a cobbler-type dessert. Beside being abundant in antioxidants, blackberries are high in fiber because of the small edible seeds within the fruit. Blackberries also contain ellagic acid, which has been found helpful in the battle against colon cancer.

Plums are another deep purple fruit that are yummy to eat alone. They are plentiful in the phytochemical resveratrol, being studied as an anti-cancer drug. *

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|