28 The NaTioNal CuliNary review • Sep Tember/oCTober 2018
produCe purple reign
Health or hype?
Like a toreador flashing his purple cape, the media swirls with
promises that rise and dip as well as assertions, speculations and hopes
that purple foods are the new health messiah. In a world where we don’t
really know what’s in us and around us, more than a few are craving
the next bonanza. Bursting with popularity, purple foods are definitely
digestion, weight loss, aging and heart issues. In our desire to finds cures
and to use food as medicine, we must, however, rely on science, taking our
time before making claims about purple foods.
“Anthocyanins give purple food their color,” says Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., director at the
Center for Nutrition Research of the Institute for Food Safety and Health, and associate professor,
You could say that you and the food you eat are one big chemistry experiment. “Plants are full of
chemicals, and so are human bodies,” Burton-Freeman says. “The human body is a basket of chemicals
doing chemistry all the time. With food, it’s food chemistry interacting with human chemistry.