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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  • I really could not agree more, purple potatoes what a great way to boost health. Reducing blood pressure by diet is an excellent way of combating this disease with natural means. Most people could lower blood pressure just my eating nutritious daily and regular exercise.

  • I love purple potoatoes–what a bonus to have the health aspects. It’s always fun to eat purple smashed potatoes. Question on the purple foods though–we grew purple green beans. When we cook them they turn green so clearly the compounds that make them purple leave. (My guess.) Does this mean in order to get any of the nutritional value associated with the purple we’d have to eat them raw?

  • Yes purple and other colored vegetables have more vitamins (especially vitamin A). But I have seen purple potatoes turn to brown after storage. Does it loose nutrients when it looses color?

  • Thanks for singing the praises of potatoes, and helping dispel their image as a villain. I love all colors of potatoes! Have you tried purple sweet potatoes? Very delicious! Ah, Central Market….that was my favorite store when I lived in Texas. Really miss that place!

  • Interesting post. I was previously ignorant of the research done on purple potatoes and how research on purple foods related to the overall picture on anthocyanins. I never eat purple but now I’m curious to start.

    @Mary, I did some reading after this post, and I found quite a few studies on purple potatoes and lipid metabolism and oxidation in addition to blood pressure reduction. I’d be curious to know the relative health of benefits of purple sweet potatoes and regular ones.

  • Pingback: Purple Potatoes for Lower Blood Pressure | Anti Aging Nutrition News()

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