When I was a little girl I was obsessed with purple. I had a purple room, and as much as I could, dressed from head to toe in purple, including some purple suede cowboy boots that I wore with almost every outfit (clearly I was a daring fashionista even then). If a toy, piece of stationary, or anything really, came in a purple option, that was the clear choice. In fact, when my dad got a motorcycle when I was younger, he came home with a purple Harley Davidson Road King, as per his little princess’ request (which he subsequently traded for a black version a couple years later…fair enough).
While my sheer love of the shade guided me towards this aubergine-esque obsession, knowing what I know now, I’m hardly surprised.
Purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. The colour purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic. It is also often associated with spirituality, the sacred, higher self, passion, fulfillment, and vitality. Apparently the colour purple helps align oneself with the whole of the universe.
Ah yes, it all makes so much sense now!
Not only that, but purple hued fruits and veggies are some of the most nutrient-dense foods available to us! Purple foods contain important nutrients called anthocyanins, which are responsible for the blue, red, and of course purple colours of some fruits and vegetables. As an antioxidant, anthocyanin protects against cell damage from free radicals, and has also been shown to protect against H. Pylori, the bacteria that promotes the formation of stomach ulcers and urinary tract infections. In addition to alleged anti-aging properties, resveratrol, another nutrient found in purple foods such as grapes, cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, and, of course, red wine, has been shown decreases cancer risk, specifically inhibiting the spread of colorectal cancer, as well as induce cancer cell death in cases of prostate, breast, skin, liver, lung and blood cancers. (the benefits are vast, and I highlight a few more of them below…).
So in honour of my lifelong love of purple, I decided to create a purple power smoothie that is not only tasty, but will hopefully lave you feeling wise, spirituality uplifted, and infinitely regal.
Red cabbage: One of the top vitamin C rich foods on the planet, red cabbage is a master immune booster, and also effectively fights against free-radical damage. Red cabbage also boasts a prominent serving of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, as well as high levels of vitamin K, which aids in the healthy formation of bones and teeth, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Red cabbage is also a mega-player in proper digestion, helping facilitate the population of healthy bacteria in the gut, as well as bowel regularity.
Beets: Beets contain a number of important substances, including betaine, fiber, betacyanin, betanin, and pectin, all of which aid in detoxification and digestion. Beets are also very high in vitamin C and have been linked to the prevention of the formation of free-radicals, the prevention of lung, liver, skin, spleen, and colon cancer, and decrease levels of homocysteine, a substance that when found in excess in the body has been linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, migraines, and dementia. Beets contain a number of essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas), as well as the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
Red kale: Like regular kale, purple kale contains various phytonutrients including glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin. These compounds support liver function and aid in detoxification, by facilitating healthy digestive pathways. Kale also contains compounds that decrease inflammation. More specially though, a serving of red kale gives you 260 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and 170 percent of the DV for vitamin C. Along with the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which are also found in generous amounts in kale, vitamin A supports healthy eyesight, especially as you age. The lutein in kale has potential benefits for heart health, too, by preventing plaque formation in the arteries.
Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries: All three of these berries are rich sources of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Research has found that dark hued berried may protect against heart disease, as well as improve memory, balance and coordination. All three berries contain anthocyanins and another phytochemical called quercetin, found to help slow cancer growth, and have all been shown to help control blood sugar in diabetics and help prevent liver damage.
Dark cherries: Cherries contain powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and cyaniding, as well as a small amount of quercetin, which is among the most potent in terms of antioxidant activity and a wide range of other health-promoting properties, including cancer prevention. Cherries contain natural melatonin, aiding in more restful sleeps, as well as diminishment of inflammation and associated oxidative stress. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, cherries have also been linked to exercise recovery.
Chia seeds: Boasting a rather ideal balance of essential fatty acids omega 3, 6, and 9’s, chia seeds aid in inflammation regulation and muscle function. They also contain all 8 essential amino acids needed for proper tissue growth and maintenance – some seriously attractive features for all you athletes out there (and everyone really). Even more alluring is that chia seeds are also loaded with magnesium, calcium, and potassium, all of which are needed for muscle contraction, relaxation and electrolyte balance.
Coconut cream/milk: Coconut-based products (oil, cream/milk, flour, chips etc.) in their whole natural form are one of the best immune boosters thanks to their antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. Coconut is also high in antioxidants, and can improve skin and hair. Not only that, but coconut is super-packed with vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium etc.) that are integral for bone and teeth health, and the healthy fats diminish blood sugar imbalances while keeping you satiated and energized for longer.
Purple Power Smoothie
*Makes one serving
- 1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) and dark cherries
- ¼ cup chopped red cabbage (raw)
- ¼ cup peeled and chopped beets (raw)
- ½ cup chopped and packed red kale
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut milk/cream
- 1 scoop Vital Porteins collagen peptides (optional)
- Filtered water or more coconut milk/cream to desired thickness
- Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
- For a thicker smoothie (or smoothie bowl) use thicker coconut cream (think the fluffy stuff at the top of the can), and less water.
- For a more liquid-y consistency, use a thinner coconut milk and/or more water.
- Enjoy immediately following blending for optimal flavour and nutrient density!