Wanna bring the colors of the rainbow to your plate? Then be sure to add these purple vegetables to your groceries list!
Unlike red, orange, and green, vegetables that are purple (or even blue veggies) don’t really look appetizing.
Most colored veggies are yellow, orange, and red, and these colors are indeed the ones we perceive as succulent and tasty.
Still, you might have seen different shades of vegetables that are purple at your grocery store or market. No doubt purple vegetables are so pretty, but should you include them in your meals? The short answer is YES!
Purple vegetables are as healthy as they are pretty. In this article, we will go through some purple veggies you need to start seeking.
If you don’t know already, purple foods are very healthy. They contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant linked to several health benefits, such as protection from cell damage and reduced risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and neurological diseases.
Although there aren’t many purple things in our world, let’s take a look at some vegetables that are purple and their benefits:
Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a low-calorie vegetable you can find all year round, although its season is between July to October.
Aubergine has a spongier texture and is quite nutritious. This vegetable has high fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and, of course, anthocyanins which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and heart-protective properties.
They also contain flavonoids and polyphenol content linked to the prevention of liver damage and improved inflammatory conditions like asthma.
In addition, purple eggplants are a good source of iron, calcium, phytonutrients, and manganese which are essential for metabolism and bone health.
Most of the nutrients in this vegetable are present in the skin, so be sure to include the skin in your dishes!
2. Purple Carrot
Carrots weren’t always orange; they used to be purple and yellow!
The purple varieties are now available again after scientists discovered that they contain some genes that make them more resistant to diseases and pests.
In the same vein, purple carrots contain a high level of anthocyanins and alpha and beta carotene, which provide many health benefits, including improved immunity and eye health.
Purple carrots have 28% more anthocyanin antioxidants than orange carrots and contain polyphenol, which reduces the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity.
Also, they are lower in sugar than orange carrots and have an earthy flavor (sometimes they exhibit a peppery flavor).
You can eat them raw to get most of the nutrients, roast them, or add them to your stir fry and other dishes.
Read next: 12 Delicious Purple Fruits
3. Purple Cabbage
Purple cabbage contains 36 different antioxidants and has six times more vitamin C than green cabbage.
This cruciferous vegetable is an excellent bargain, so if you see it sitting in the grocery store, you need to pick it up immediately because it’s easily one of the best vegetables that are purple.
Purple cabbage, also known as red cabbage, offers many health benefits, including relief from depression, reduced risk of cancer, and heart protection.
They also contain a lot of anthocyanins and vitamin K and help lower inflammation linked to cardiovascular diseases.
Purple cabbages taste just like green cabbage, but their leaves are thicker, and they are more nutritious.
You can use purple cabbage for your salads, stir fry, and wraps, and include them in other recipes you would use green cabbage.
4. Purple Cauliflower
Purple cauliflower not only adds a pop of color to your dishes but also has a great taste and provides many health benefits.
They contain anthocyanins, vitamin K, and vitamin C, which are all needed for the proper functioning of the immune system and brain health.
The antioxidants found in purple cauliflower are, in fact, 15% more than what you will find in the antioxidant superfood, kale.
Also, purple cauliflower can protect you against some cancer types, including colorectal cancer. It also offers anti-inflammatory properties and can increase longevity.
Also, purple cauliflower is low in carbs and can be a great option if you are looking to replace rice, potatoes, and other high-calorie foods in your diet.
Purple cauliflower is said to have a nuttier and sweeter taste than white cauliflower and can work in a lot of recipes too.
5. Purple Redbor Kale
Purple kale is a member of the cruciferous veggie family and can help reduce the risk of cancer.
This nutritional powerhouse is rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, which is excellent for eye health, vitamin K, needed for bone metabolism, and anthocyanins, which are linked to benefits like reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
There are varieties of ways you can consume purple redbor kale. You can eat it raw or add it to your salad, especially if the leaves are young and tender.
For more mature purple redbor kale, consider sauteeing it for your side dishes or baking them for a light snack. You can also use your purple kale for smoothies, throw them in your soups or use it for egg dishes.
6. Purple Artichoke
Purple artichoke tastes just like green artichoke and offers many nutrients, including anthocyanins, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
These nutrients work together to regulate blood pressure, improve liver health, lower blood sugar and lower bad cholesterol.
A study showed that artichoke leaf juice reduced the blood pressure in subjects with mild high blood pressure.
Also, artichokes were long used as a digestive aid to reduce inflammation and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome like bloating and abdominal pains.
7. Okinawan Sweet Potato
Okinawan sweet potatoes are a staple food in Okinawa, an island in Japan where people live the healthiest and longest.
These variants of sweet potatoes contain a lot of anthocyanin content and can help increase immunity and reduce inflammation. They are also rich in vitamins A, B, and Potassium.
According to a study, purple sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and can protect against certain types of cancer, including colon cancer.
Okinawan sweet potatoes taste similar to orange and white sweet potatoes, but they have a lower glycemic rate. For this reason, they are a bit less sweet and great for diabetes and pre-diabetes.
8. Purple Asparagus
Purple Asparagus is slightly sweeter than normal asparagus and contains a high dose of antioxidants.
They offer a wealth of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibers, phytonutrients, and two primary anthocyanins.
Also, this purple vegetable is rich in rutin, a polyphenolic compound that offers cancer-fighting and heart-protective properties.
Purple asparagus turns green when you cook them, but you can eat it raw if you want some color purple in your dish. You can shave it for your salads, use it for buckwheat noodles, or roast it as a snack.
9. Purple Potato
According to USDA, purple potatoes contain four times the antioxidants than regular potatoes.
The antioxidants present in these potatoes help reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Purple potatoes also help lower blood pressure, lower the risk of heart diseases and prevent strokes.
It’s best to eat purple potatoes with its skin to get the most nutrients and benefits. You can eat it instead of white potatoes as side dishes or use it for potato salads.
10. Purple Brussel Sprouts
Purple Brussel sprouts are not exactly easy to find, but if you do, we recommend you add them to your shopping cart immediately.
They exhibit layers of purple to green color with violet red tips and veins. Purple Brussel sprouts are a bit sweeter than regular Brussel sprouts, and they retain some purple color when cooked.
These delicious vegetables are also healthier than the green variants. They contain anthocyanins which reduce the risk of heart diseases and provide a healthy level of Vitamin A, B, C, and K.
Purple Brussel sprouts also deliver folate and fiber and, as such, can support the digestive system.
You can enjoy your purple Brussel sprouts by toasting them in the oven or making some sprout salad mixed with other veggies.
11. Red Onion
If you are a fan of onions, you will want to try out this purple shade of onions. Red onions, also called purple onions, are one of the easiest-to-find purple vegetables.
According to Food Research International, red onions are powerful cancer fighters due to the combination of the anthocyanins and quercetin found in them.
The reddish-purple color of this onion can add color to your dish, and you can use it in recipes that require sweet onions. This includes your savory dishes, sandwiches, and fruit salsa.
12. Purple Radish
Purple radish offers anthocyanins, potassium, calcium, and many vitamins. Talk about a superfood!
Purple radish has a flavor that ranges from mild to spicy depending on when they grow and harvest it.
They are also an excellent source of fiber which improves digestive functions, vitamin C, which strengthens the immune systems, and vitamin A, which maintains organ functions.
Purple radish is a versatile ingredient, and you can use it for your salads, stir-fries, sandwiches, soups, and other recipes.
13. Purple Bell Pepper
Purple bell pepper must be harvested at a specific time to get the purple hue, usually within 65-70 days of planting them.
You can use your purple bell pepper for anything that requires bell peppers, including stir fries and salads.
Also, you can combine them with your green, red and yellow peppers in your meals; the vibrant colors make food look so good.
The purple skin of this pepper contains a lot of anthocyanins, which can help reduce inflammation and protect the body against diseases like cancer and diabetes.
They also contain a high dose of vitamin C, essential for growth, wound healing, and body repair.
Final Thoughts on Purple Vegetables
Purple vegetables are a great addition to your diet, so try adding one or more of the vegetables on this list to your shopping basket next time you want to get some groceries.
And, if you have difficulty finding purple vegetables, don’t worry; keep eating your regular vegetables, as they also have many health benefits.