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rainbow food purple cabbage

Eat The Rainbow Food– Let the Purple Reign

There is a lot of talk these days about eating the rainbow food, meaning that we should include foods of every color in our diets. Make it your nutrition resolution for 2019!

The different colors in fruits and vegetables come from different phytonutrients and supply a variety of antioxidants and nutritional benefits. Studies show that 88% of the population is deficient in the purple food category of their diets – the highest deficiency of any of the colors.

 

Rainbow Food Tips

 

When I started making a conscious effort to include all the colors in my diet I was sort of stumped when it came to the blues and purples. Sure, foods like red tomatoes, leafy greens, green peppers, orange carrots, white onions were simple to include. They form fundamental parts of my daily cooking repertoire, but what about the purple?

 

1. Does eggplant count since the flesh is white?

Yes, eggplant counts if you eat the peel, which contains the purple part. But eggplant isn’t in season in the winter and so it gets expensive and the quality is poor.

2. What about purple potatoes that turn white when they are cooked?

It turns out that some heirloom varieties retain their purple color when cooked and again leaving the skin on gets you a higher antioxidant payload.

 

Some purple vegetables are GMO, so buy organic if you want to steer away from those.

 

3. I’m not much of a fruit eater so blueberries and plums are out. Where to turn?

There are turnips and rutabagas but I don’t want to eat them all that often. Purple kale could get worked into the menu rotation. Purple sweet potatoes are now being touted as one of the keys to longevity of the Okinawans, but how many of those can we eat in a week?

Aha! I eventually thought to myself, purple cabbage and purple onions are good options, especially in winter when they are in season. So occasionally replacing white onions with purple ones will help add purple into the dietary mix.

 

Why Purple Cabbage?

 

It turns out purple cabbage has 36 kinds of antioxidants, eight time the vitamin C of green cabbage, plus it’s readily available and inexpensive. Cabbage is part of the brassica family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale) and has cancer fighting properties, and anti-aging properties. Wow!

I also like that cabbage has many uses, from shredding it raw for salads or adding to stir frys, to using it as a wrapper in cabbage rolls, to braising it as a side dish for hearty winter meals. There are a lot of different things to do with it so it won’t go bad before you can use it up. I’m pretty sure Prince wasn’t talking about cabbage when he wrote the song, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat rainbow food and let the purple reign!

 

SparkYourBloom Today And Everyday!

 

Belinda is a writer, editor, explorer, cook and gardener. She loves to travel and goes wherever frequent flyer miles will take her. When she is not roving round the planet, diving in the sea, or skiing down a mountain she might be found working in her impractically large vegetable garden or sitting amidst a stack of cookbooks concocting ideas for some crazy new thing to cook in the kitchen. She has practiced yoga for twenty years and two years ago started a meditation practice, which is still very much a work in progress. She lives in Northern California.

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