Dark foods are the true human super-power. The dark color comes from phytochemicals, or phytonutrients, a plants natural behavior that colors the fruit to protect it from predators. Phytochemicals offer nutrients and we classify them as phytonutrients. Examples of phytonutrients are carotene, lutein, and lycopene.
Among the benefits of phytonutrients are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Phytonutrients may also enhance immunity and intercellular communication, repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism and help maintain healthy bones. Blueberries contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K.
Other noted benefits that have been reported are skin health, lowering blood pressure, managing diabetes, protecting against heart disease, preventing cancer, improving mental health, healthy digestion, weight loss, and feeling full.
Blueberries are a seasonal item, so look for them in the frozen section or even go for the freeze-dried version. Freeze drying takes out the liquid but leaves the nutrients, making them a great add to cereal or enjoy as a snack on their own. Other purple fruits to enjoy are blackberries, black currents, figs, plums, prunes and raisins to name a few.
Dark purple vegetables also are incredible healthy.