Purple Plants to the Rescue! Nature’s Superheroes

Vibrant, jewel toned purple foods such as blueberries, red cabbage, eggplants and figs are a colorful and showy addition to a beautifully balanced plate. But the resplendent color of purple and blue foods is not just for looks! These rich red-blue shades signify the presence of powerful antioxidants, known as “nature’s scrub brushes,” that mop up the free radicals (unstable atoms) that cause cell damage that leads to illness and aging.

Antioxidants are the overachievers of the plant world: they can help balance cholesterol and control weight, repair and prevent premature aging of the skin, and benefit the heart, eyes, prostate and urinary tract. But purple foods such as plums, black currants and purple grapes contain special and uniquely powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help soothe inflammation and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. They are effective at countering low HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that adults who consume more anthocyanins are less likely to be overweight, have less instance of cardiovascular disease -- and may even be preventing cancer with their good eating habits.

Anthocyanins—the pigments that do all this heavy lifting while adding color and variety to a balanced diet—are present in only 3% of foods, and most of us don’t consume nearly enough of them. Enter Kenyan Purple Tea, a new tea varietal grown exclusively in the high altitude terrain of Mount Kenya. Because of the cool temperatures in this region, the powerful UV rays of the sun are able to penetrate the Camellia Sinensis leaves intensely without burning them—turning them a rich shade of deepest purple. These purple tea leaves contain more anthocyanins than blueberries (1.5% vs. only 0.1% in blueberries), as well as more of the cognitive boosting, weight controlling antioxidants called polyphenols that are found in lower amounts in green and black teas. Antioxidants such as the kind found in Kenyan Purple tea naturally counteract the dangerous effects of free radical damage and cell degeneration. And all this in a deliciously earthy, naturally sweet and serenely refreshing purple tea. Drink up!

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