If you regularly follow my blog you will know I have a bit of a love affair with purple /red vegetables
When I lasted looked I permanently grow:
• Purple asparagus
• Rhubarb with it brilliant red stems
• Reb leafed sorrel
And annually I regularly grow:
• Purple potatoes, carrots and beetroot
• Purple/red leafed kale, cabbage, bok choy, lettuce and mizuna.
• Purple headed broccoli and cauliflower
• Red onions, shallots and spring onions
• Purple garlic
• Purple beans and snow peas
I love to grow them mostly for their brilliant colour. They add such interest to the garden in any season.
But lately I have been thinking about why I am so attracted to these wonderfully coloured fruits and vegetables, could there be more to it than just liking the colour.
Now if you are into eating healthy you could not have avoided all the hype around purple and red fruit and vegetables and I think that as humans we are attracted to these plants because the colour indicates a higher nutritional value then their green equivalents.
This infographic is just one of many that can be found on the internet indicating some of the health benefits claimed to be gained by eating red/purple fruit and vegetables.
Now if even half the claims are true then they are worth eating but having done some research I found that just with red cabbage it has 10 x more vitamin A, more iron and more vitamin C and obviously plenty of anthocyanins and hence more antioxidants compared to its green counterpart.
I could quote you more evidence but the short version is that with every vegetable I looked up that had a red/purple version the same analysis was found – higher levels of nutrients then the green varieties.
So, the conclusion I have come to is that where ever there is a red/purple variety I will grow it as they are just as easy to grow as the green varieties but pack much more punch nutritionally.
If we are going to go to the expense and effort of grow our own food there why not grow the most nutritionally dense varieties available.
Let me know what your favourite purple/red vegetable is.