The colors blue and purple represent your insight, which includes your brain and the thoughts it oversees. Your brain is the center of your nervous system, it maintains centralized control over the other organs in your body, and it regulates sensory information and muscle activity. Your brain also controls the secretion of hormones, which act as chemical messengers allowing different parts of your body to communicate with each other. A healthy brain allows you to make sense of the world, remember, learn, play, and focus. It also allows you to manage information, use judgment, and maintain logic and perspective. When your brain health is impaired, you can experience mood imbalances such as depression and anxiety; problems with cognition, focus, and memory; and issues with movement of every muscle in your body.
Blue and purple plant foods are rich in antioxidants, in particular those that act to protect the brain and nervous system from oxidative stress and inflammation, caused by free radical damage. Anthocyanins are blue-purple pigments found in plant foods which are antioxidant flavonoids, and they can cross the blood-brain barrier to exert their benefits on brain cells.
Did you know?
- Anthocyanins are members of the flavonoid family of phytochemicals, and they may improve vascular function, blood flow, and cognitive function.
- Consuming blueberries and strawberries is associated with a slower risk of cognitive decline, and blueberry intake is associated with benefits in memory.
- Anthocyanins may help maintain thinking and memory by reducing inflammation, and by inhibiting DNA damage in the brain.
- Blueberry juice contains polyphenols and anthocyanins and may act as a potent antioxidant to help protect your brain against oxidative stress and the damage it can cause.
Blue and purple fruits that support your insight and your brain health include:
- Adding blueberries to your diet (about 1 cup of fresh blueberries) may help improve some aspects of cognitition.
- Phytochemicals found in antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries may serve to help reverse the course of neuronal and behavioral aging.
- Select blueberries that are firm and uniform in color. When you shake the container, the berries should move around freely. They should be free of moisture, which can cause them to spoil.
- When buying frozen blueberries, shake the bag to make sure the berries are not clumped because this could indicate they were thawed and frozen again.
- Plums, and their dried counterpart, prunes, contain phenol compounds like neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid.
- Neochlorogenic acid may inhibit inflammation in the brain.
- Chlorogenic acid has antioxidant activity and can cross the blood-brain barrier to exert its neuroprotective effects on the brain.
- Ripe plums will yield to gentle pressure when you touch them, are slightly soft at their tip, and rich in color. If your plums need ripening, keep them at room temperature, where they will ripen quickly. Once they are ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator for a few more days.
Purple grapes and raisins, figs, blackberries, boysenberries, and marionberries are other blue-purple fruits that can support your insight and, therefore, the health of your brain.
Blue and purple vegetables that can support your brain health and your insight system include:
- Purple-stem Chinese kale may contain more health-promoting compounds than other varieties, including higher levels of phenolic acids and flavonoids compared to green-stem kale, and purple kale contains anthocyanin pigments, giving it its rich color.
- Kale thrives during cooler seasons, and it can grow wild, especially in countries along the Mediterranean Sea. The flavor of kale varies from bitter or peppery to plain and even slightly sweet. While the most common leaf color of kale is green, it can vary and be lavender to dark purple, and green leaf kale may also have purple stems and veins.
- Purple potatoes are a good source of antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and anthocyanins.
- Potatoes as a whole food contain a variety of antioxidant nutrients, including phenols and flavonoids, which can benefit brain health.
- Potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, which plays a role in brain cell and nervous system activity, where it is involved in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
Examples of other blue and purple vegetables that support your insight system and brain health include eggplant and purple cabbage.
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