Is purple the new green?

New Delhi: People are moving towards a healthier lifestyle which focuses on a nutritious diet. To that end one is choosing to incorporate more vegetables for their natural nutrition.

Purple coloured fruit and vegetables have been found to be rich in nutrients and thus have slowly begun to replace existing vegetables, as these are merely different variants of regular items, says Chef Prabhakar Nagaraj.

While speaking to Nagaraj he told the benefits of purple vegetables and fruit and this rising trend of consuming these items. Excerpts:

How can we incorporate purple food into our everyday diet?

Chef: One can replace regular cauliflower in their meals with purple cauliflower or replace regular cabbage in their salads with red cabbage. Both these replacements help raise the level of antioxidants and phytonutrients compared to their colourful counterparts. An important feature of all purple foods is the ability to help repair and heal cell damage.

Will the power of purple replace the power of green in the coming years?

Chef: Purple food is a recent discovery; hence there is not enough of it in production to say that it will ‘take over’ from green foods. Only a very small part of the population even knows that purple foods are equally as good as or better than green foods.

For example, lavender flowers are used in food as a garnish as they not only enhance the appearance of food but also add health benefits by making the skin glow when consumed. The discovery of this benefit has led to a greater demand for lavender and hence, greater cultivation of it.

Can you tell us a few food items that can be prepared using these purple ingredients?

Chef: As said before, purple foods do not require any special treatment while cooking. You can easily replace normal vegetables with them during the meal creation process, such as using purple potatoes instead of regular ones while making Aloo Jeera. The key here is to determine how much of it to use. Purple foods contain anti-oxidants and based on your requirement of the same, you can determine how much of purple need to be incorporated into your diet. These anti-oxidants become even more important when it comes to the ability to combat cancer.

How does this help overcome nutritional deficiency and build a stronger immune system?

Chef: In the current situation, a trend has emerged where individuals have begun looking for healthy food that meets their need, in order to combat nutritional deficiencies. Foods like berries and red cabbage, which have been used as part of diets for many years, have always had the potential to meet these needs. It is only recently with the drive towards incorporating more purple food into our diets that these benefits have been discovered.

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