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Rose Gold Bracelet Flask

This bangle flask is equal parts function and fashion—what more could you want? ($45; helloblush.com

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The Health Benefits of Purple Foods—Plus 3 to Add to Your Grocery List

Purple Reigns

purple vegetables and fruits

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The purple bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes popping up at your farmers' market might seem like crazy new food hybrids, but the color is actually what you find in the wild, says Mary Ann Lila, Ph.D., director of the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. And that wild factor is what makes these foods better for you than conventionally farm grown, she adds. To survive sans chemicals or human help, veggies naturally produce more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals for protection from the elements; when you eat them, you get a bigger dose of healthy compounds. (Just another reason why you should eat colorful foods.)

The purple pigment packs nutrition power too. "The anthocyanins that give foods this brilliant hue are associated with cardiovascular benefits and cancer-fighting abilities," Lila says. The payoffs are full body: The compounds in purple carrots and potatoes may prevent inflammation and increase antioxidant activity, a Canadian study in the Journal of Functional Foods found. These kaleidoscopic beauties can even affect your weight, Lila says, since their color may help keep you full. (Although white foods have workout benefits, too.)

Then there's the optics. Purple fruits and veggies can really dress up a dish—another reason why chefs love finding new ways to play with the pops of color. (Can you say Instagram-friendly foodporn?) You can swap purple foods into any recipe—start with the innovative dishes here.

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Forbidden Rice Bowl with Beets and Goat Cheese–Dill Vinaigrette

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Think of this forbidden rice bowl as a heartier winter version of lighter beet salads. Swapping out brown rice for purple-hued forbidden rice is a wise choice. It's been shown to have more potent anti-inflammatory properties. (Here are more creative, healthy swaps for brown rice.)

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Cauliflower Salad with Olives and Breadcrumbs

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Boost your cauliflower rice or pizza crust by swapping in purple cauliflower, which is higher in anthocyanin than white cauliflower. Or show off the veggie by tossing it with toasted breadcrumbs and olives in this salad. (FYI, orange and green cauliflower also exist.)

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Crispy Baked Purple Fries with Blueberry Aioli

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Instead of your standard fries and ketchup, try this recipe which includes purple sweet potatoes and blueberries. To make them crispy, slice potatoes thinly, don't crowd the pan, and eat them hot and fresh from the oven. (Here are five more ways to eat purple sweet potatoes.) 

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh