You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘eat the rainbow,’ but have you ever thought about why certain foods feature particularly beautiful hues? We’ve got anthocyanins to thank for the vibrant colors in purple, blue and deep red foods – and their benefits go far beyond their exterior beauty.
Anthocyanins are natural pigments known as flavonoids that are present in fruits, vegetables and other plant-derived foods like beans and black rice. The more color in the food, the higher the level of anthocyanins, according to WebMD.
One of the easiest ways to add anthocyanins into your diet is to up your intake of purple and blue hued foods. Here’s a short list of purple foods:
- purple carrots
- purple onion
- purple cabbage
- blood oranges
- kidney beans
- red and purple grapes
- purple yams
- black rice
The following recipes provide delicious opportunities to give your brain and your body a major nutritional boost thanks to anthocyanins.
Happy, healthy nourishment!
Roasted Beets with Berries and Goat Cheese
Whether you’re hosting an event, looking for an easy weeknight side dish or crave something new and different, this sweet and savory roasted beets with berries recipe is “jam” packed with a plethora of health benefits. Our take? There’s no better option for roasting beets than this easy, plant-forward recipe.
Purple Goddess Power Bowl
If ever there were a recipe to look for for major health benefits, this nourishing Purple Goddess Power Bowl is it. Anthocyanin-rich vegetables and fruits include beets, cherries, blackberries, blueberries and purple cabbage paired with good-for-you organic greens and heart-healthy quinoa. The perfect way to get your purple food fix!
Summer Berry Salad
This gorgeous summer berry salad is full of heart-healthy fiber and a major dose of antioxidant-rich anthocyanins thanks to a vibrant trio of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries and sweet cherries. Poppyseeds and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice take this anthocyanin-rich salad to the next level and celebrates the very best of summer berry season.
Raspberry Orange Juice
Contrary to their name, raspberry oranges are the same as blood oranges. Citrus fruits offer a range of antioxidants and essential nutrients, and blood oranges contain anthocyanins. It’s a key factor that contributes to their color. This juice is made of 100% pure blood orange. Enjoy it any time of year, particularly during winter months when our bodies can use the immunity boost offered by in-season citrus.
Roasted Fig Salad with Watercress, Walnuts and Honey Vinaigrette
Fig season may be short, but it sure is sweet! Figs at the peak of freshness are as nutritious as they are delicious. A source of anthocyanins, fiber and Vitamins B6, C and K, add this salad to your list of must-try seasonal salads.
Roasted Dill Carrots
Is there anything more comforting than roasted vegetables topped with fresh herbs? These Roasted Dill Carrots are a healthy comfort food perfect for a side dish at Sunday lunch or during the holidays. Choose rainbow carrots when possible. Purple arrots are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals, including anthocyanins.
Stone Fruit Salad with Honey Poppy Seed Glaze
This vibrant anthocyanin-rich stone fruit salad celebrates the best of summer produce. Plums, blackberries, cherries, blueberries and raspberries are just a few of the in-season fruits that make this recipe a crowd pleaser that’s sure to nourish and impress.
Basil Berry Salad
Basil, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are the stars of this vibrant, heart-healthy salad recipe that oozes wellness. Berries are a nutritious and delicious source of anthocyanins. What’s more, this salad comes together in 10 minutes or less!
Roasted Radishes with Goat Cheese and Honey
Crisp, peppery, anthocyanin-rich radishes carry a bit of a bite when eaten raw, but they take on a softer, sweeter flavor profile when roasted. If you’re not a big fan of radishes, try roasting them. For this easy side dish, the additions of soft goat cheese crumbles, fresh thyme and unfiltered organic local honey add a delicate flavor, along with nutrient-dense purple onions that get sweeter as they roast.
Three Bean Salad with Tangy Honey Mustard
Kidney beans contain a fair share of anthocyanins, but not everyone is a fan of these purple-red hued beans. Enter this classic three bean salad: a timeless family favorite. The crisp green beans and tangy honey mustard dressing make this fresh three bean salad an irresistible recipe with a healthy dose of nutrients, anthocyanins included.
Sunflower Crunch Salad
Get your crunch on and a healthy dose of anthocyanins, too! This healthy sunflower salad has all the elements we look for in a vibrant salad: light, fresh, easy to make, nutrient dense and bursting with flavor. Thanks to the cruciferous veggies, this salad is the perfect make-ahead meal prep recipe. Prepare it once and enjoy it all week.
Want to learn more about anthocyanins?
What are anthocyanins and how do they work? What are the health benefits of anthocyanins? We’ve got your questions answered in the article What You Should Know About Anthocyanins — and How to Eat More of Them.