Blue foods: “full to the brim” with nutrients for good health

In the quest for optimal nutrition, we were told to try “eating the rainbow”.

This means that you should stock your plate with a wide range of fruits and vegetables that represent shades of the rainbow. The more vibrant and colorful the products, the more likely this diet is to be filled to the brim with health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.

In particular, blue and purple fruits and vegetables should be included whenever possible.

These delicious products, while less common than orange, red or yellow products, are also packed with nutritional goodness, being good sources of anthocyanins, which heal antioxidant compounds that could help support brain function, improve heart health and help reduce the risk of increased blood pressure and some cancers.

Here are seven powerful and delicious blue fruits and vegetables along with tips for including them in your diet:


Why eat them: Evidence suggests that compounds in elderberries could support healthy immune cells and help fight cold and flu viruses. Concentrated elderberry extracts could help fight the flu, although this is still under investigation.

How to eat them: Elderberries can be eaten whole, as a juice, syrup or extract. If you eat the whole berry, be sure to cook it first – raw, unripe elderberries can cause stomach pain.



Why eat them: This well-researched fruit is high in fiber, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin K, and is low in calories. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, and eating them regularly has been linked to helping prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cognitive decline conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

How to eat them: Blueberries can be eaten raw, added to cereals, yogurt or granola, or cooked in bread.

Concord grapes

Concord grapes

Why eat them: Concord grape has higher amounts of antioxidant compounds than purple, red or green grapes. They are full of antioxidants that could help support the immune system.

How to eat them: Concord grapes can be eaten raw or made into wine, juice or jam.



Why eat them: Diets rich in vitamin C can help protect against cell damage and chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. Black currant is an excellent source of vitamin C, which has remarkable antioxidant properties. Vitamin C also supports wound healing, plays a role in supporting the immune system, and helps maintain bones, teeth, and skin.

How to eat them: Black currants can be eaten fresh, as dried fruit or preserved in jams or juices.

Blue tomatoes

Blue tomatoes.

Why eat them: Also known as purple or indigo pink tomatoes, blue tomatoes are rich in anthocyanins, which gives them their bluish-purple color. Diets rich in anthocyanins can help reduce inflammation, protect against heart disease, and can help support eye and brain health. Blue tomatoes also contain antioxidants such as lycopene, which has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and prostate cancer.

How to eat them: Add sliced ​​blue tomatoes to sandwiches and burgers, wedge-shaped in appetizer salads or diced in salsa or pico de gallo.

Purple carrots

Purple carrots.

Why eat them: All carrots are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. Purple carrots are a good source of anthocyanins, antioxidants that could help fight inflammation. Diets rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins can help fight oxidative stress – an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants – and oxidative stress has been linked to cancer, heart disease, premature aging and cognitive decline.

How to eat them: Enjoy raw purple carrots, or add them to soup or stir-fry.

Blue corn

Blue corn.

Why eat them: Blue corn contains anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds that can help support health benefits. Blue corn may have a higher protein content and lower glycemic index than yellow corn. Research from animal studies suggests that blue corn could also help improve memory and could beneficially affect high-density lipoproteins – good cholesterol – and help support the reduction of the most harmful fats such as total cholesterol and serum triglycerides. .

How to eat them: Cooked blue corn can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, sauces, and salads.

Environmental Nutrition is an independent newsletter written by health and nutrition experts.

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