We probably all know one of those people who jokes that they won’t eat anything green. And it’s not only children; maybe that someone is you… ?
Some of us grew up on a few common, standard vegetables that were local or easy to grow: corn, green beans, carrots, and potatoes, to name a few. But, let’s face it, the same old veggies done the same old way are an agonizing dining experience. The truth is that getting variety into our veg consumption is essential! We know that vegetables provide a wide variety of nutrients that are fundamental to our good health. So how do we get from veg-dull to veg-diverse?
Endless studies have shown that a diet which includes plenty of vegetables and fruits helps reduce the risk of developing a wide array chronic disease. Fruits and vegetables are vital to a healthy life. And not just the green ones. When it comes to vegetables, the more colour the better.
If you’ve been avoiding the produce department since you were forced to eat lima beans as a child, you might be surprised by what you find if you just take a stroll through. Produce from distant continents and cultures is more readily available now than ever before. Even your pickiest eaters might be surprised by the variety of colors and flavors.
Despite their green reputation, fruits and vegetables come in a rainbow of colors. Each color is a result of different nutrients. Eating a variety of colors provides you a variety of beneficial nutrients. But for that person who associates vegetables with green and yuck, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables might just be overwhelming. A fun way to introduce new fruits and vegetables into your diet is one color at a time. Focusing on trying a new color might take the emphasis off the yuck factor long enough for you to discover a new favorite food. Keep in mind that liking the taste of vegetables often depends on how they are prepared. So make sure to do some recipe searching before you buy. Look for something with a new vegetable as the focus and make sure that it isn’t so difficult that you get discouraged.
Purple is a fun color not commonly associated with food. But it packs a powerful nutritional punch. The purple coloring (also deep red and blue) is due to anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant. Anthocyanins – like other antioxidants – protect your cells. The darker the color, the more antioxidants.
The antioxidant properties of purple foods help:
What comes to mind when you think about purple produce? Grapes, plums, and cranberries are fairly common. Other fruits in the purple/blue/deep red category include: figs, passion fruit, raisins, prunes, all sorts of berries, cherries, and pomegranates.
In the vegetable aisle, you can commonly find purple cabbage, eggplant and onions, but you might not be familiar with the purple versions of some old favorites, like carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, and potatoes.
If the variety of purple fruits and vegetables still isn’t enough to convince the vegetable-wary, the benefits of anthocyanin antioxidants can also be found in purple rice, wheat, and corn (purple corn flour).
Aside from the antioxidants, the purple fruits and vegetables also provide fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals – just like their green cohorts.
With so many nutritious and delicious purple options, you might even forget about green.