Purple coloured foods for better health

Purple coloured foods for better health contain many phytonutrients like betalains and anthocyanins; they also provide excellent fibre to help with constipation.

Good morning again from the Church of the Ascension, South Africa to this series on the importance of coloured fruits and veggies in the lives of all Believers; of everyone, of course. God loves the whole world. They are known as “functional foods,” those that promote health and help prevent disease.

The apostle Paul teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5 that it is God’s desire that your soul, body and spirit should all be kept sound and blameless at the Second Coming of Christ. Caring for ourselves has a strong foundation is scripture.

Today we focus on the purple foods and again I’ve chosen just two; beets and mulberries but of course there are many others too. They are rich in phytonutrients.



A nutrient called betaine plays a vital role in the metabolism of a very important amino acid called methionine. If there is insufficient of this phytochemical toxic levels of homocysteine build up, damaging blood vessels and many different organs in the body; for example, Fatty Liver, cardiovascular conditions and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Betaine has also long been known to play an important role in lipid metabolism; and used for over half a century in animal feeds to stop the build up of excessive body-fat in pork and beef. It would help us too if we are struggling with adipose tissue.

Betaine was first discovered in beets, hence its name but is also richly found in spinach, seafood and the bran of 100% whole grains. Not many people eat these on a regular basis; have you had any of them this week? Really we should be enjoying at least one every day.

Eggs Florentine makes an excellent start to the day; on wholegrain toast.

Parsley eggs florentine in potSpinach and beet-tops are rich sources of betaine


Anthocyanins are the purplish flavonoids found in many berries and grapes, for example. They too are powerful anti-oxidants, helping to mop up dangerous free radicals that damage our genes, cause cancer and inflame the arteries.

There are dozens of high quality research studies showing that they lower blood pressure; and enjoyed daily improve speech and memory in those with mild dementia.

Mulberries in bucket

Mulberries, cherry guavas and Catawba grapes are common sources of anthocyanins here in Hilton.

I’d like to end this series with a few suggestions about preserving these coloured foods. Whilst some like spinach, kale and beets are available year-round, I am sure you are wondering how you can have access to these fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.

Jams and jellies are a little controversial because of their high sugar content but I would suggest that in the context of all these natural foods, the value of these phytonutrients outweighs those concerns.

The Heart Association recommends up to six teaspoons of sugar per day in any case; rather from a little homemade jam than a cola or slice of chocolate cake.

Cherry guava jelly betterCherry guava jelly; 1tsp sugar per helping.


"We found was that if patients had sufficient dietary fiber intake, over 20 g/d, they were actually about five times more likely to respond to cancer treatment with immunotherapy; and had more prolonged survival."

- Jennifer Wargo, MD (Anderson Cancer Center)

Very few people eating typical grocery store food get the recommended amount of fibre. There is heaps of research that proves they are far more vulnerable to diseases ranging from those of the heart, colon and blood vessels to obesity and diabetes.

The insoluble fibre adds bulk to the stool making visits to the toilet easier and far more regular; there is lower risk of many bowel diseases.

The soluble fibre absorbes water making a sort of gel in the gut, slowing the release of starch from the stomach and reducing surges in blood glucose.

The happy tum demands plenty of fibre from our food to nourish the microbiome; the friendly bacteria, viruses and yeast cells that inhabit the gut.

The power of purple foods explains how these fruits and vegetables protect us against inflammation, arterial disease and malignant tumours.

Chillies freezing red and greenFreezing chilies.

Freezing foods like mulberries, jalapenos[2] and butternut is really not difficult; they are very rich sources of carotenes.

Mulberry honey mead in carboyMulberry mead

And perhaps more controversially many of them can be fermented into wines and meads made from natural honey.

There is deeply disturbing research on the subject of alcohol. The evidence is really quite strong that even two or three measures of commercial wines, beers and spirits per week increase the risk of many diseases and particularly breast cancer.

However there is nothing in the literature that is able to explain why the folk living in the Blue Zones of the world where they commonly drink two or three glasses of natural unpasteurised wine every day with their meals are so healthy.

Drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach, says the Apostle Paul. But alas the natural ferments that he was talking about are not the same as those for sale from Tops.

Possibly playing with fire, I preserve the coloured phytonutrients in catawba grapes, mulberries and cherry guavas by fermenting meads with honey; they are also excellent probiotics, a subject for another day. Make absolutely certain that alcohol is kept a servant and not master of the house.

Glass mulberry mead
Catawba grapes before fermenting to honey meadCatawba grapes readied for honey mead

Purple coloured foods for better health

So in summary let us recognise that caring for Brother Ass, that very stubborn body that we have to contend with must include many coloured foods on a daily basis; at least five to seven. Best of all try and grow some of them yourself; then they are fresh, tasty and free from pesticides.

Fruit with highest pesticide residues should put the wind up all of us.

Preserve them in one way or another for use all year round. Yes, caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit is hard work and will mean taking more time acquiring and preparing good food every day.

I strongly recommend being free from any form of legalism; totting up calories, measuring out cups of spinach and counting how many coloured foods you have had on a particular day absolutely ruins the enjoyment of our meals. Just begin by making a real effort to start eating greens, yellows and purples on a regular basis; and reds too. They taste so good in any case.

I hope you have found this series a little prod in your journey to discover that sound mind and body that God so desires each one of us should have. Yet we have to acknowledge, much of life and health remains pure mystery.

So I bless you and encourage you to abide in Him. Believe that the anointing of the Holy Spirit will guide you in all these matters. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by; and that has made all the difference."

- Robert Frost

Goodbye and God Bless until the next series.

Coloured foods for better health

Purple coloured foods for better health

Purple coloured foods for better health are rich in betaine and anthocyanins.

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Whole grains for betaine

Whole grains for betaine are difficult to come by. Brown rice and corn on the cob are two of the easiest.

Acquiring 100% wholemeal flour is not easy. If you are a baker try Reko Hilton.

100pc wholemeal flour in hands.

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.

Here are the back issues.

  • Lifestyle and ideal body weight
  • What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • 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
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa