Eat Your Purples—Health Benefits of Top 5 Purple Superfoods
by Kelly Merritt
You hear it on every talk show and read it in marketing campaigns. The buzz word ‘superfood’ has become ubiquitous. Yet like all good things with staying power, superfoods are here to stay because they are proven to extend wellness and derail ailments. In honor of Pantone’s latest color of the year, ultra-violet, the superstars of this post include blueberries, beets, elderberries, cranberries and bilberries, five of the best.
On the catwalk of healthful fruits, blueberries take top billing. This supermodel of superfoods packs a high antioxidant punch for the amount you have to ingest to be effective. They are rich in vitamin C and anti-inflammatory impact, plus the body’s cells love the protection they offer from damaging elements. One study found that a single cup serving of wild blueberries has a greater antioxidant capacity than other berries – the key word being wild – which have 48 percent more benefits than their cultivated cousins.
When reaching into your grocer or farmer’s market bounty, remember this acronym: BLKP. It stands for bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas – all of which could use your help to stay healthy. Beets are high in folate and other healthful nutrients. One study conducted at Penn State’s Noll Laboratory revealed that athletes who drank beetroot juice had a positive impact on blood vessels under resting conditions concluding that it helped ease the workload of the heart. And don’t throw out those beet greens. Wash, dry and sauté them or throw them in the juicer with apples and carrots for a powerhouse beet boost.
Ask any country bumpkin, holistic practitioner or health-obsessed exerciser what keeps their pains at bay and chances are they’ll answer: elderberries. From elderberry syrup to fresh elderberry dishes and drinks, elderberry fans are making them by the jug and jar. The reason this yummy berry has risen so much in popularity is due to its allergy fighting components. It also boosts the immune system, protects against infection and digestive issues, and this versatile berry also helps ward off inflammation.
For children of the 90s, the mere mention of cranberries conjures up sounds of the bestselling band that produced infectious tunes like ‘Linger’. Not surprising, since the effect of cranberries linger in the body long after ingesting them. This tart treat is the go-to holistic treatment for urinary tract infections and regular use may help prevent them from occurring.
Not to be confused with its similarly sounding relatives, bilberries may be lesser known, but they help protect and preserve eyesight, in particular night vision. According to the docs at WebMD, it’s also used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, skin infections and a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
So be sure to eat your purples, including these awesome purple superfoods with all of their healthful benefits.