The Secret Powers of Purple Produce

It’s the year of Ultra Violet, according to Pantone’s trending color experts. Prepare to see plenty of bright purple on fashion runways, on product packaging — and hopefully, on our plates! We’re declaring 2018 the year of purple produce, and we can’t wait to celebrate these ultra-vibrant fruits and vegetables and their serious nutritional powers.

Purple plants all have something in common: their pigment comes from a naturally occurring antioxidant called anthocyanin. Antioxidants protect plants against free radicals, such as pollutants and radiation, and when we eat them they perform the same function for our bodies. Studies suggest that a diet rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins can protect against inflammation, heart disease, and even the proliferation of cancer cells! If that sounds a bit familiar, it may be because the lauded benefits of red wine arise from the same antioxidants — anthocyanins give purple grapes their rich color and their health benefits too.

Like purple produce, you can tell a lot about any fruit or vegetable from what color it is. Essential nutrients play a crucial role in all plant coloration — think beta carotene in orange carrots and lycopene in red tomatoes — which is why it’s so important to “eat the rainbow” every day. A colorful plate ensures that you're getting a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your daily diet.

If you resolved to increase your plant intake in 2018, try refreshing your grocery list with some vividly violet fruits and vegetables. It’s an easy way to make mealtime a little more exciting and wholesome with foods you probably already know how to prepare. Check our infographic for our favorite purple stunners to try out with your next meal: