The color purple is said to evoke many emotions, among them, peace, pride, creativity, and magic. It isn’t as common as other colors in nature, and so it’s also seen as exotic. Beyond the emotions purple makes us feel, eating the color also offers significant rewards!
Fruits and vegetables with purple or red pigments contain plant compounds called anthocyanins, which have been found to boost immunity, prevent chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular and metabolic issues), as well as increase longevity.
Anthocyanins are pretty cool. According to Purple Power! Colorful Choices for Better Health (The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide, 2020 Edition), plants produce them to attract pollinators, repel predators and diseases, heal wounds, and reduce environmental stress.
Some veggies, such as beets, swiss chard, and orach, contain betacyanins, which are not as abundant or widely studied as anthocyanins. Still, researchers believe they deliver the same benefits.
The Farmer’s Almanac says the plant doesn’t have to be a bold purple; even if the food crop has the color in tiny veins, stripes, splashes, or rings, you can bet it’s good for you.
Everything combined, it’s no wonder purple plants are one of the top gardening trends of 2020! Why not add a few of these beauties to your veggie patch this growing season?
Traditional Purple Plants
- Red Cabbage
Newer Purple Varieties
- “Purple Haze” Carrots
- “Dragon Tongue” Bush Bean
- “Peruvian” Purple Potatoes
- “Okinawan” Sweet Potato
- “Ruby” or “Red Fire” Lettuce
- Purple Asparagus
- Purple Kale
- Purple Broccoli
The possibilities are almost endless! What’s your favorite purple variety to grow?
Are you looking for other interesting ways to use purple-red plants? Try this recipe for a pH Potion made with anthocyanin red cabbage!