Purple Vegetables

33 Perfectly Purple Vegetables (and Fruits!) to Perk Up Your Plate

 

Eating purple fruits and vegetables is an easy and fun way to make sure you’re consuming a diverse array of nutrients and vitamins.
While some fruits and vegetables are purely purple of their own accord – such as blackberries and eggplant – some have been purposefully bred to be purple by nature, traditional agriculture, or selective breeding.
Why Are Purple Foods So Healthy?
Purple fruits and vegetables contain compounds called anthocyanins, which give foods that royal hue – anywhere from deep red-orange to striking violet to beautiful blue. Breeding plants with anthocyanins creates purple cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potatoes and cabbage. Plants that contain anthocyanins are better protected against damage from sunlight, and the color also attracts bees and other pollinators.
A 2004 study conducted by the University of Illinois suggests that anthocyanins may help protect cells, heal the body, decrease inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease and may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer. Purple cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and red cabbage also contain indoles, nutrients derived from sulfur compounds that may slow the metabolism of carcinogens according to WebMD. WebMD also notes that berries are good sources of ellagic acid, a phytochemical that may also help protect cell integrity.
In addition to the anthocyanins, indoles, and ellagic acid, these purple fruits and vegetables also contain all the expected nutritional components of fresh produce – such as vitamin A, B2, C, dietary fiber, potassium, and other phenols.
What’s the Best Way To Cook Purple Fruits & Vegetables?
Because anthocyanins are water-soluble (able to dissolve in water), you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck when you eat these fruits and veggies raw, steamed, or roasted. Most purple vegetables are easy to prepare – just use them as you would their paler cousins. Toss berries into breakfast dishes, lunchtime salads, and desserts. Drizzle chopped veggies with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat – and then roast in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes for an easy roasted side dish.
The Ultimate List of Purple Fruits & Vegetables: How Many Have You Tried?
Blackberries
Blueberries
Raspberries
Beets
Red Onions
Figs
Red Grapes
Plums
Cherries
Eggplant
Red Cabbage
Red Leaf Lettuce
Red Belgian Endive aka Radicchio
Swiss Chard
Radishes
Passionfruit
Pluots
Black Currants
Açai Berries (you can only find these frozen in the U.S.)
Purple Potatoes
Purple Cauliflower
Purple Corn
Red Kale
Purple Carrots
Purple Bell Peppers
Purple Broccoli
Purple Artichokes
Purple Asparagus
Purple Kohlrabi
Purple Sweet Potatoes
Black Currants
Purple Snow Peas
Chinese Long Beans
Purple Okra
Purple Green Onions
Ube aka Purple Yam
Elderberries
Purple Thyme
Purple Basil
Edible Lavender
Edible Purple Violets
Make it your mission to try every purple food on this list – or at least keep an eye out for new purple produce that you can use to perk up your plate. What’s your favorite?
Related on Organic Authority
Purple Power! 4 Vegetarian Eggplant Recipes for a Tasty Meatless Monday
7 Spring Vegetables: From Peas to Purple Asparagus
Sweet & Sour Superfoods: The 13 Best Berries in the World
Image of beets via Shutterstock

Tags:
purple fruit, purple fruits, purple product, Purple Vegetable, Purple Vegetables

Shilo Urban
Shilo first became interested in conscious living when she found herself working simultaneously at a mom-and-pop natural food store and a farm for endangered livestock breeds on the coast of Maine. After residing in Austin, New Zealand, Paris, Seattle, and Los Angeles, she now lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she works as a freelance writer. Her passions include international travel and wiener dogs.

 

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