From Green Right Now Reports

Blueberries and Blackberries, Scott Bauer USDA PROMOWe’re often admonished to eat our greens, to get those cancer-protective, cell-supporting flavonoids and vitamins A, C and K  found in kale, spinach and chard.

But don’t forget the antioxidant-rich blues, say experts at St. Louis University Medical Center.

“A lot of the blue foods are superfoods, which are loaded with nutrients and have extra disease fighting benefits,” said Amy Moore, instructor of nutrition and dietetics at SLU, which has gotten all bluesy this week as it celebrates its Billiken Blue basketball team’s participation in the NCAA Tournament.

“Like our Billikens, blue foods – and their purple brothers — are unique and pack a powerful punch,” Moore said.

But enough about basketball, here are the blue foods to include for “greener” eating (notice you don’t even have to cook most of them):

  • Blueberries: “This fruit is the darling of many dietitians, and tops just about every antioxidant list,” Moore said. “Kids love them because they’re round, sweet, little and fun to eat.” Blueberries might even help you remember those basketball stats; scientists are studying the role of blueberries on memory.
  •  Purple grapes: “Purple grapes are packed with vitamins, minerals and flavonoids that can help to protect the body’s cells from damage,” Moore said. Freeze them for a refreshing treat that you’ll eat more slowly because they are cold.
  •  Greek yogurt parfait: Layer purple or blue colored berries – black raspberries, acai berries, blackberries and blueberries with Greek yogurt (the unsweetened kind) for a high protein pick-me-up.
  • Purple cabbage: Its deep purple pigment color is the tell-tale indicator of nutrients that can help lower the risk of many diseases. Low-cal and loaded with vitamins and minerals, this vegetable can be turned into a wickedly tasty slaw.
  •  Eggplant: This vegetable contains fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B vitamins. Slice it for a stir fry, roast it in some garlic and olive oil or pop some slices on the grill and layer on a whole grain bun with red onion, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella for a tasty sandwich. (And, we might add, it’s a great low-fat, higher-fiber stand-in for meat in spaghetti parmesan).

Spring is an excellent time to think about eating a variety of deeply colored fruits and vegetables, as you plant your edible garden or add a berry bush to the landscape.

Blue-booster St. Louis University was founded in 1818 and has nearly 14,000 students. A Catholic, Jesuit institution, SLU stresses academics,  faith, and service, life-changing research and compassionate health care.