Power of purple foods

The power of purple foods that protect us against metastatic and blood vessel diseases is a subject that should interest everyone. They are rich in the phytonutrients that give those who eat 8 or more coloured salads and fruits every day a 33 percent lower all-cause of death; that's massive.

That is very strong research after following a large group of people for twenty-years.

This page was last updated on 6th January, 2023 by Dr Bernard Preston.

Your purple foods are rich in phytochemicals like betalains and anthocyanins. Laboratory studies have shown that they inhibit the growth of malignant tumour-cells.

Purple raw beetroot

Many folk grow beets not for their roots but for the leaves which are not unlike Swiss-chard; only nicer in my opinion.

Use the stalks too which have the greatest amount of inorganic-nitrate that has been shown to consistently lower blood pressure[1].

They are particularly rich in the phytochemicals zeaxanthin and lutein which are known to provide protection for the eyes from damaging bright UV light.

Mulberries are another source of the power of purple foods; and definitely one of my favourites.

They are easy to grow and, unlike strawberries simple to reap; you will not strain your back.

We enjoy them raw for breakfast and they can be turned into scrumptious jams and jellies; or smoothies.

Whether you enjoy the power of purple foods for their delicious-flavour, or their nutritious benefits or both just make sure that they are amongst the eight or more colours you try to eat most days.

They are found in both vegetables and fruit.

Power of purple foods

The power of purple foods gives protection to the eyes; along with strawberries and dark-green leafy vegetables.

If in doubt just google terms like betalains, anthocyanins and lutein; you'll soon be hunting for purple cauliflower, beetroot and blueberries on the supermarket shelves. Better still start growing them yourself.

Beetroot takes some boiling so I recommend the pressure cooker which reduces the time by two-thirds; it's an important appliance for busy people and saves a few bucks of electricity too.

How to cook beetroot provides a little more information if you're at a loss; it took me a long while to learn about the virtue of using pressure to speed things up in the kitchen.

They keep in the fridge for about five days; if you cook up a larger amount than your family can happily eat in that time, then it's better to pickle them. It is dead simple.

Cauliflower is not the most exciting vegetable, lacking colour and flavour but I'm looking out for those new purple varieties. I bet they taste better too.

One important thing to keep in mind is that those foods with strong anti-oxidising properties are themselves really vulnerable to the air; they don't keep and only those that are obviously fresh should be chosen. Gardeners have a huge advantage when it comes to wellness.

"There is increasing evidence that exposure to plants and green space, and particularly to gardening, is beneficial to mental and physical health."

- Clinical Medicine (PMC6334070)

Betaines are phytochemicals in purple and other foods, that enable the body to detoxify a nasty breakdown product of protein metabolism that is a major cause of blood-vessel disease.

What is betaine is an interesting page if you want to know why the power of purple foods is so important, says Bernard Preston. 

Some varieties of purple beetroot can be enjoyed raw too, thinly-sliced; or pickled.

To grow your own nutritious veggies like this you may need to get acquainted with with a worm farm.

If you want to enjoy really marvellous tasting food, start to think about what is being called urban agriculture. Could you plant a mini-farm in your own backyard? We've done it, so you certainly could too; it provides the joy of getting enough exercise at home and having a real chance of a life without medication.

"Let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."

Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC)

Pickled beets

Pickled beets are so easy.

Pickled beets are probably the epitome of the power of purple foods; because they don't keep, a testimony to their anti-oxidant properties, it is best to enjoy them fresh and immediately preserve what is left.

Rich also in anti-oxidant vitamin C and other minerals, pickled beets are a traditional gem.

Really these pickled beets recipes take just a few minutes to prepare.

How to cook beetroot may be relevant to you; and their greens too.

Bernie's beetroot soup, also known as borscht, is another of my favourites.

Purple power mulberries

Mulberries are another of my favourite testimonies to the power of purple foods. The trees produce an abundance in temperate climates in late-spring, the season lasting about a month; we enjoy them fresh with cream, as smoothies and then the boss preserves them by turning them into jam.

Compared to other jellies, how to make mulberry jam she tells me is a breeze. Getting the gel-point right is the trick.

Copy and paste "how to make mulberry jam" into Site Search for more information.

Gel point of mulberry purple foods

Preserving food for year-round goodness is always a challenge. We regularly brew this mulberry honey mead to use up the surplus fruit; it's also a good way to deal with the gleanings after harvesting from the bees.

Mulberry honey mead in carboy

Choice foods

Choice foods is what it is all about; enjoying as many coloured dishes as you reasonably can.

Among them there should regularly be the power of purple foods.

I am not into fancy cooking; good food, made fast, is our motto. If it is long and tiresome, then we move on to something simpler.

Nevertheless getting off the black and white menu plan is important; move up to colour, without becoming neurotic about it.

I do not advocate counting all the coloured-foods you have enjoyed on any particular day, once you are in the groove; but doing it now and then might be helpful.

Food nut neurosis is something I am seriously concerned about as a doctor. Do not allow these issues to do to your mind like black and white food does to your body. Orthorexia is first cousin to another serious psychological affliction.

Perhaps it is not as serious as anorexia, but bad enough.

This was a bad day. We enjoyed only two coloured fruits at breakfast, five salads for lunch and kale for supper; mind you, that makes eight.  

But it is important, not just for their antioxidant properties that prevent the formation of tumours; but as a DC I love the way they help quell the anger in muscles and joints.

Central to my personal experience with beets is their role in making the tum happy. Along with greens every day they fixed a very serious, chronic constipation problem that I suffered from for thirty-years; until discovering the importance of fibre from our food.

Researchers recommend that those suffering from chronic idiopathic constipation start with more dietary fibre before turning to medication[4].

Idiopathic means a condition of unknown cause. In this instance I have come to realise it is a misnomer; on the "industrial diet" we get less than half the recommended amount of fibre. Only 5% of Americans for example get sufficient. It's now very clear what induces chronic constipation in the vast majority of people.

If you plan to grow your beets, which is what I recommend, then water scarcity in the world is something to face; they need to be irrigated regularly.

Purple power smoothie

This purple power smoothie can be whizzed up with your stick blender in a jiffy once you have the berries on hand. We make it with kefir[5] so that it's better still; a potent probiotic. 

Purple power smoothie can be blended in a jiffy.

Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is a writer with six published-books and he's busy with the seventh. Enjoying simple, yet profoundly nutritious and tasty meals is one of his passions. Subjects like the power of purple foods come up regularly; and red, green or yellow too. If you have had a colonoscopy then you might appreciate his experience at MoviPrep Sebastian Vettel exhaust.

Then there is a part-time practice as a DC, fussing with his solar generator, and right now adding more photovoltaic panels to his roof; it would be nice to have 6kW or more of power coming in on a sunny day. Then he won't have to fuss if a cloud comes over, but if you have too little input energy then there are concerns if the electric stove, dishwasher or lawnmower are busy.

Finally he took the plunge and invested in more panels and lithium batteries. Now he has very few concerns about the weather, having drawn no more than 2 hours of power from the utility in the last year. A solar generator certainly pays its way and now he has no worries about the load-shedding that plagues South Africa.

There is a synergy around creating what we call a Cyan Zone at your home; caring for the well-being of both your family and the planet. Harvesting and storing the sunshine and rain that are delivered regularly to the roof will provide for all your needs for the house and garden; then you can freely enjoy the power of purple foods and many others of course.

From the horse's mouth


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

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  • ´╗┐Lifestyle and ideal body weight
  • ´╗┐What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
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  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
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  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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