Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by Lauren Beck
When it comes to food, color is a vital aspect of the sensory experience. While most of the natural foods come in various shades of green, yellow, red, and brown, the color blue is relatively rare in the food world. However, there are several foods that are blue and have a unique appearance and taste.
In this article, we will explore the list of blue foods, their benefits, and what makes them blue.
What Are Blue Foods?
Blue foods are those that have a blue hue in their appearance. They can be natural, like blueberries or artificially colored, like candies or cakes.
There are several blue foods that can be consumed, such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, and even fungi.
20 Most Popular Foods That Are Blue
- Blue potatoes
- Blue corn
- Concord grapes
- Purple asparagus
- Purple cabbage
- Purple carrots
- Purple cauliflower
- Purple sweet potatoes
- Red cabbage
- Purple figs
- Blue shrimp
- Blue crab
- Blue lobster
- Rainbow trout
What Gives Blue Foods Their Color?
The color of blue foods comes from pigments called anthocyanins. These pigments are water-soluble and can appear in shades ranging from blue to purple, depending on the pH level of the food.
The higher the pH, the more blue the food will appear, while a lower pH will result in a more purple color.
Are Blue Foods Safe to Eat?
Yes, blue foods are safe to eat. They can be consumed raw or cooked, just like any other food. However, it is essential to note that artificially colored blue foods can have additives that may not be safe for consumption. Therefore, it is always recommended to read the label before buying any artificially colored blue foods.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Foods That Are Blue?
Blue foods are high in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Anthocyanins, the pigments that give blue foods their color, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Some of the health benefits of blue foods are:
- Improves brain function
- Lowers the risk of heart disease
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts the immune system
- Promotes healthy digestion
What Is Blue Food Coloring Made Of?
Artificial blue food coloring is made from synthetic chemicals like FD&C Blue No.1 or Brilliant Blue FCF. These dyes are used in a variety of foods, including soft drinks, candies, and baked goods.
While these dyes are considered safe by the FDA, some people may experience allergic reactions or sensitivity to them.
Why Are There So Few Blue Foods?
Blue foods are relatively rare because there are only a few natural sources of blue pigments. Most fruits and vegetables contain other pigments, such as carotenoids and chlorophyll, which give them their characteristic colors.
Additionally, the blue pigments are often destroyed during cooking or processing, making it challenging to retain the blue color.
Can Blue Foods Be Cooked or Are They Only Eaten Raw?
Blue foods can be cooked or eaten raw, just like any other food. However, cooking blue foods can alter their appearance and taste. For example, blueberries can turn purplish when cooked, while blue potatoes may lose their blue hue altogether.
Are Blueberries Actually Blue?
Blueberries are a type of fruit that appears blue due to the anthocyanin pigments present in them.
However, when blueberries are cooked, they can turn purplish due to a change in the pH level. Additionally, the skin of blueberries is actually dark purple, but the flesh is a lighter shade of blue .
Despite these nuances, blueberries are still considered one of the most well-known blue foods.
Blue foods may be rare, but they offer a unique taste and appearance that sets them apart from other foods. From blueberries to blue corn and blue potatoes, there are several natural blue foods that offer numerous health benefits due to their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. While artificial blue food coloring is also available, it is essential to read the labels carefully to ensure that they are safe for consumption. Overall, blue foods may be hard to come by, but they are worth exploring for their unique taste and potential health benefits.