Eat the rainbow: Bring on the blue + purple


By now, you know that each color of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple – provides a unique set of nutrients and health benefits. No one color is superior to another which is why it’s important to paint your plate with as many colors as possible.

As we’re coming to the end of the rainbow in this occasional series, let’s bring on the blue and purple. Remember, our bodies thrive on variety, so be sure to check out ways to also add red, orange, yellow and green fruits and veggies to your day.

Bring on the royal treatment! Blue + purple fruits and vegetables are packed with disease-fighting, health-boosting nutrients. #eattherainbow #saslife Click To Tweet

The Royal Treatment

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables get their royal colors primarily from anthocyanins. This powerful antioxidant provides protection against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and supports mood, memory, bone health, liver function and glucose regulation.

Here’s a small sample of just how powerful these foods can be:

Create Your Calm

As the primary color of the sky and sea, blue embodies calmness, peace, serenity, trust and dependability. Law enforcement officers worldwide use blue in their uniforms to help convey an authoritative, yet calm and confident, presence – just like the color itself.

The color purple is created by blending the energy of red with the relaxation and stability of blue – a combination that results in feelings of wisdom and sensibility. Purple is also often associated with creativity, luxury, power and nobility.


Peruse the list below to bump up your blues and purples and try some new ones that aren’t typically in your rotation. As always, remember that our bodies thrive on variety! (Hint: While most of these are delicious eaten raw, click on the table for links to some recipe inspiration.)

Air Fryer Eggplant with Creamy Tahini and Plum Salsa

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Ventures
Makes 4 servings


For the Eggplant
1 large eggplant (about 1lb)
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp each Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika

For the Plum Salsa
4 ripe plums
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (can also use dried)
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tahini Sauce
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Line a sheet pan with paper towels or clean kitchen towels. Place eggplant on top and sprinkle with salt, ensuring all sides are evenly seasoned. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. While eggplant is resting, make the salsa and sauce.

For the Plum Salsa

  1. Dice plums and stir together with lemon juice, garlic, ginger and honey. Season with salt and pepper and, if desired, more lemon juice. Set aside.

For the Tahini Sauce

  1. Whisk all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the Eggplant

  1. Pre-heat air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Using a clean towel, pat the surface of the eggplant dry to absorb the excess moisture.
  3. Place eggplant cubes in a bowl and drizzle with avocado oil, tossing until combined.
  4. Add seasonings, tossing until combined.
  5. Place eggplant in an even layer in air fryer. Do not overcrowd the pan/basket. If needed, cook in two batches to ensure even frying.
  6. Cook for approximately 12 minutes or until eggplant is tender, flipping/stirring halfway through.
  7. Top with plum salsa and a dollop of tahini sauce. Serve warm.


About Author

Ashley Bailey, MS, RDN, LDN, IFNCP


Ashley is a Nutritionist at SAS Institute in Cary, NC. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner, Certified Biofeedback Instructor and also has a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys crafting, cooking, walking and spending as much time as possible at the beach. Follow @abaileyRD on Twitter.

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