Purple food – just another fad or health holy grail?

When a new Thai restaurant in Mumbai is making purple rice by squeezing lime juice on butter pea flour, changing its colour from ink blue to a vibrant shade of purple, you could dismiss it as a simple fad.

Then, when you hear that in a Shizusan Shophouse & Bar, they create a similar illusion with the same flower in cocktails as it’s apparently a good substitute to artificial flavouring and colours, you start to wonder whether it’s true that purple promises to have a surprising amount of health benefits – or whether it’s just another food fad. However, while the recent black food trend used activated charcoal to achieve the black colour, this purple food trend actually promises real health benefits.

Along with the visual appeal, it seems that more darkly coloured food often indicates a higher content of antioxidants and nutrients – meaning healthier food. It comes as no surprise then that there’s been a recent increase in the sale of purple coloured vegetables.

The most beneficial of these purple vegetables are aubergine, purple cabbage, purple sweet potato, purple corn, asparagus and, of course, berries, as well as many more. The antioxidants in purple food such as anthocyanin, and flavonoids, protect body cells from damage and help reduce risks of cancer, stroke and heart disease – indeed a recent study found that those who ate purple fruit and veg. regularly, could reduce their risk of high blood pressure and lower their cholesterol.

In our quest to become more health conscious and provide bespoke, unique outside catering, it’s worth considering the benefits of purple food:

  • A high concentration of flavonoids – a natural pigment which boosts immunity from certain cancers. Purple foods which contain flavonoids include purple cabbage, eggplants, purple onions and black currants.
  • Improved gut health – purple sweet potato tastes the same as the orange one but contains anthocyanin, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties and aids digestion.
  • Healthy looking skin – purple and blue fruit, due to the richness of their antioxidants, are a great boost for skin, while purple asparagus is rich in vitamin B which improves skin, hair and nails.
  • Weight loss help – purple carrots contain high levels of the antioxidant pro-vitamin carotenoid, and anthocyanin which helps manage blood-sugar levels in the body.

So, as the purple food fad seems to have real health benefits, it’s definitely worth trying to add more and more purple food into your diet – at the very least it will look lovely!