More Praise for Purple Produce

592302749_907a656010_oPurple produce does it again.  This time it’s potato’s turn.

I’ve previously written about my love of purple vegetables, including this article in the Chicago Tribune.  It turns out the same compounds that put blueberries on the map as a superfood are what make purple vegetables potential disease fighters, too.

This latest study found that a couple of servings of purple potatoes a day helped  lower blood pressure as much as oatmeal.  Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, analyzed 18 patients who ate six to eight small purple potatoes (about the size of a golf ball) twice daily for a month and found their blood pressure dropped by  3.5 and 4.3 percent without gaining weight.

Most patients were either overweight or obese, and many were already taking medications for high blood pressure during the study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was recently presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

I’m glad to see this study get so much attention in the press, including this great recap written by registered dietitian Elisa Zied for (which features some super ideas for using potatoes by another registered dietitian and chef Jackie Newgent).

Potatoes are not deserving of their bad rap (if you steer clear of the deep fryer and fatty toppings).  Purple potatoes are becoming increasingly available in supermarkets and specialty stores.  I know I spotted them during  my visit to The Central Market in Austin.  I also frequently see them at farmer’s markets and on restaurant menus.

Maybe this study will also shine a positive light on all potatoes.  All spuds are good sources of potassium, and this mighty mineral plays a powerful role in reducing blood pressure.

So I say, embrace the purple potato.  But give the others a chance too.

[photo credit: La Tartine Gourmande on flickr]

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