By now you've probably heard that 2017's official Pantone color of the year is "Greenery"—a "fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring," according to the company's color experts and trend forecasters. Greenery seems like a perfect fit in the food world, too—think: crunchy foraged leaf salads, dandelion leaves, crispy sugar snap peas. But it won't be the only color making waves in grocery stores in the new year—at least, not according to researchers at Whole Foods.
According to a recently-released report from the supermarket chain, while green will always be ubiquitous in the produce aisle, consumers will be seeing a lot more purple on supermarket shelves in 2017. "Richly colored purple foods are popping up everywhere: purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus, elderberries, acai, purple sweet potatoes, purple corn, and cereal," Whole Foods' trend report explains. And these colorful items aren't just pretty on the outside—they'll also nourish you from the inside. Purple-hued natural foods tend to be loaded with nutrients that are great for your health. "The power of purple goes beyond the vibrant color and often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants."
In fact, according to studies conducted by the CDC and published in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and cited across a broad swathe of health publications, "Adults who eat purple and blue plants have reduced risk for high blood pressure and better levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" kind). They are also less likely to be overweight. The compounds the give purple foods their color mop up free radicals and soothe inflammation."
What are these magical compounds? According to dietitians, purple-blue colors occurring naturally in produce come from anthocyanin, an antioxidant that's known to have heart-health benefits. "The anthocyanins that give these fruits their distinctive colors may help ward off heart disease by preventing clot formation," says Gloria Tsang, RD. "They may also help lower risk of cancer."
Well, there's a color trend we can get behind—purple fruits, vegetables, and grains that are also good for your health. Whole Foods suggests looking out for some specific purple-y products on their shelves in the new year—including Back to the Roots Purple Corn Cereal, Jackson's Honest Purple Heirloom Potato Chips, Que Pasa Purple Corn Tortilla Chips, Love Beets, and Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes—but you're sure to find purple foods everywhere, even at your local supermarket. Consider, as a starting list: purple cabbage, eggplant, beets, kale, berries, broccoli, potatoes, and carrots.