Nutrition Unplugged loves all things purple:
It turns out the same compounds that put blueberries on the map as a superfood are what make purple vegetables potential disease fighters, too.
She then talks about purple potatoes and how they lower cholesterol as much as oatmeal.
I almost never eat purple foods and my knowledge of their health benefits is equally pithy.
After some searching though, there’s an interesting amount of research on purple potatoes. From what I can tell there aren’t any conclusive studies on humans, but on studies done with rats they have a track record of improving lipid metabolism, and free-radical scavenging.
They might also improve cognitive functioning in old age. In a paper on purple produce from the Chicago Tribune (courtesy of Nutrition Unplugged):
*Rats who ate black raspberries — which are particularly rich in anthocyanins — were 50 percent less prone to developing cancerous tumors in the esophagus. The study, also conducted at Ohio State University, found that the berries helped fight cancer by reducing inflammation, suppressing growth of cancer cells and triggering cancer cell death.
Another study done on rats in old age is here.
The paper quotes James Joseph, who’s done a lot of research on nutrition and aging. I would sum up his work like this: Eat blueberries!
He’s published a lot of research on the effects of anthocyanins on aging, and he’s taking his own research to heart:
Does [our research] guarantee that blueberries will have the same effect in humans? Of course not. But I’m not waiting for the evidence to come in. I’m eating blueberries now. They taste good. And compared to some widely touted “anti-aging remedies” like growth hormone injections, they are considerably safer.