Purple traditionally symbolizes royalty; blue, trust. But in such foods as blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, black currants, eggplant and purple grapes, these hues represent a vision of good health. An analysis of the latest data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES), a survey of eating and health habits, found that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind); they are also less likely to be overweight.
Scientists believe that anthocyanins, compounds that give purple foods their color, are responsible for these boons. These compounds mop up free radicals and soothe inflammation. Currently, purple and blue foods make up only 3 percent of the average American’s fruit and vegetable intake, so aim to eat more.