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By Gretel H. Schueller, (Premium Health News Service)

“Only humans and birds have color vision,” notes David Heber, director of UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition. He believes the ability to see color probably evolved as a way for us to better see — and eat — the bounty of colorful fruits and veggies. Lucky us!

Colors don’t just make food pretty; they’re a sign of nutritional power. And purple is mighty. This royal shade comes from anthocyanins — disease-fighting antioxidants. The pigment produces red, blue, and violet foods, depending on the type of anthocyanin (there are hundreds).

“The deeper the red-purple, the higher the anthocyanin concentration,” explains Heber, author of What Color Is Your Diet? (William Morrow). Purple potatoes, for example, have antioxidant levels equal to kale and spinach.

There’s plenty of evidence to support the power of purple: Research on anthocyanins indicates they may be effective in preventing certain cancers, reducing the risk of heart disease and Parkinson’s, and improving eyesight.

According to a study at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, a group of obese people with high blood pressure eating two servings of steamed purple potatoes a day significantly lowered their blood pressure by about 4 percent (6 points) after a month–making those potatoes almost as effective as oatmeal.

Beyond grocery staples like red cabbage, plums, and eggplant, a cornucopia of indigo-hued produce is now available, including purple asparagus, baby artichokes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, kohlrabi, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and wax beans–making it easier than ever to color your diet healthy.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at


Photo: Liz West via Flickr

Cindy McCain

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain, formally endorsed Joe Biden for president on Tuesday night, saying she would participate in virtual campaign events and in person when Biden visits her home state of Arizona. McCain's support for Biden doesn't come as an enormous surprise given the video about her husband's relationship with Biden she narrated for the Democratic National Convention, but her plan to be involved in the campaign is another serious step.

"The most important thing that moved me a great deal was talking about troops' being 'losers,'" McCain said of her endorsement. "You know we have children in the military, as did the Bidens." The man who called the troops losers and suckers for getting captured or killed in combat responded with predictable grace.

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