Adding a variety of colorful foods to your diet is a smart way to enhance your overall nutrition. While most people focus on green and red fruits and vegetables, it’s essential not to overlook the vibrant world of purple foods.
Purple foods, like purple berries, eggplants, and sweet potatoes, boast a unique set of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, which give them their rich color.
These antioxidants offer various health benefits, from supporting cognitive function and heart health to reducing inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases.
In today’s article, we’ll be going over 15 healthy purple foods to include in your diet regularly.
Purple Foods Nutrition Facts
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A (often in the form of beta-carotene)
- B vitamins
- Quercetin Resveratrol
20 Healthy Purple Foods to Add to Your Diet
From fruits to vegetables to grains, here are the healthy and nutritious purple foods to start adding to your diet.
Blueberries, despite their name, are actually deep purple, and this is due to their high anthocyanin content.
Anthocyanins are responsible for the vibrant color of many purple and blue fruits and vegetables, and they play a significant role in the numerous health benefits of blueberries.
So besides giving blueberries their distinctive hue, they also provide a wide range of advantages for overall health.
For one, they are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can easily react with other molecules and cause cell damage.
This benefit has commonly been associated with boosting brain function, improved cognitive function memory, and reduced risk of age-related mental decline.
The antioxidant benefits of blueberries can also help reduce the risk of various chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Additionally, blueberries contain flavonoids that have been shown to help lower blood pressure, thus contributing to heart health.
Moreover, their high fiber content aids digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness, which can be beneficial for weight management.
Blueberries can be enjoyed fresh in smoothies, desserts, or as a topping, offering not only a delightful taste but also a nutritious boost to your diet.
Similar to blueberries, blackberries are deep purple thanks to their high anthocyanin content. This means they can protect cells from oxidative damage, which can contribute to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and age-related cognitive decline.
They are also high in vitamin C, a vital nutrient for skin health. This vitamin stimulates collagen production, a structural protein in your skin and connective tissues. It can promote a radiant complexion and assist in wound healing.
Blackberries are also abundant in dietary fiber, magnesium, iron, and calcium.
Whether you enjoy them fresh, add them to smoothies, or use them in desserts, blackberries can offer a flavorful and nutritious component to your diet.
Known for their antioxidant-rich resveratrol, grapes have been associated with potential longevity and cancer protection.
Resveratrol acts as a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to reduced oxidative stress and inflammation.
Additionally, grapes are a hydrating and natural source of sugars, making them a refreshing snack.
Moreover, their versatility in fresh consumption and as ingredients in dishes and drinks makes them a delightful addition to various diets.
4. Passion fruit
Passion fruit, scientifically known as Passiflora edulis, is a tropical vine celebrated for its delightful fruit, which offers a unique combination of flavors and textures.
Ripe passion fruits are characterized by their vibrant yellow or purple rind, which encapsulates a sweet, aromatic flesh containing crunchy, edible seeds.
One of the remarkable components found in passion fruit is piceatannol, a special polyphenol antioxidant with exceptional health-promoting properties.
This compound has shown promise, particularly in boosting skin health.
Research suggests that piceatannol, when isolated from passion fruit, has the ability to protect skin cells from sun damage.
A study involving 32 women with dry skin found that the consumption of 5 mg of piceatannol for 8 weeks led to increased skin moisture levels.
These findings highlight the potential of passion fruit and its unique antioxidant, piceatannol, as a valuable addition to your diet, not only for its enticing flavor but also for its skin-nourishing benefits.
These fruits offer a range of health benefits, including their vitamin K content, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health.
Plums are also a good source of antioxidants like beta-carotene, which contribute to overall wellbeing by protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Additionally, their dietary fiber promotes digestive regularity and a sense of fullness, making plums an excellent choice for those seeking to manage their weight.
They are also a good source of vitamin C, which, in addition to the other antioxidants, can help maintain healthy and vibrant skin.
6. Acai Berries
Acai berries, known as South American superfoods, help regulate cholesterol levels and support digestive health due to their high fiber content.
Also, their rich antioxidant profile is associated with improved skin, a strong immune system, and overall wellbeing.
Eggplants, although technically a vegetable, are part of this purple spectrum. They are low in calories and an excellent source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and feelings of fullness. This makes them a valuable addition to weight management diets.
Furthermore, eggplants provide a range of vitamins, including vitamins A and C, and the B vitamins that support metabolism and overall health.
Additionally, eggplants are rich in antioxidants, particularly nasunin, which is a specific type of anthocyanin present in eggplant skin.
These antioxidants have been linked to protecting brain cells from oxidative stress, reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Incorporate eggplants into your diet by grilling, roasting, or sautéing them for a flavorful side dish. You can also try them in dishes like eggplant parmesan or baba ganoush for a delicious twist.
8. Black Currants
Black currants are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for boosting immunity and collagen production for healthy skin and quick wound healing.
These fruits also contain antioxidants that protect cells from free radical-induced damage, potentially reducing inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases.
9. Black Raspberries
Black raspberries are another remarkable example of purple foods, celebrated for their rich anthocyanin content.
As I mentioned, anthocyanins help protect the body from oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer.
Black raspberries, in particular, have been linked to a reduced risk of esophageal and colon cancers due to their high anthocyanin content.
Black raspberries also offer an abundance of vitamin C, contributing to immune support and overall wellbeing.
Elderberries have traditionally been used to treat colds and flu due to their immune-boosting properties.
They are also a source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and regularity.
These berries are often used in various culinary applications such as jams, jellies, and syrups.
11. Purple Cabbage
Purple cabbage is not only visually appealing but also a nutritional powerhouse.
It is particularly high in vitamin C, an essential nutrient that supports immune function and promotes healthy skin.
The anthocyanins in purple cabbage are responsible for their deep color and provide various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cancer.
Purple cabbage can be enjoyed in salads, coleslaw, or even as a vibrant side dish, offering both flavor and nutrition to your meals.
12. Purple Potatoes
Purple potatoes are not just eye-catching; they also offer a range of health benefits.
Like other purple foods, they are packed with anthocyanins, which have been associated with improved cognitive function and heart health.
Additionally, purple potatoes are high in dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and weight loss.
The combination of their unique color and nutritional value makes them an exciting and nutritious addition to your diet.
13. Purple Sweet Potatoes
Purple sweet potatoes offer essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, which is crucial for good vision, and potassium, which supports overall wellbeing.
They are also a good source of anthocyanins and fiber.
Whether roasted, mashed, or incorporated into various dishes, these potatoes are a delightful and nutritious choice.
14. Purple Carrots
Purple carrots add not only a pop of color to your plate but also a plethora of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
Additionally, purple carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, a precursor for vitamin A, a nutrient essential for good vision.
To include black carrots in your diet, slice or shred them to add color and flavor to salads or stir-fries.
They can also be used in smoothies or juices for added nutrition.
15. Purple Asparagus
Purple asparagus, a unique variety of this vegetable, provides essential nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that supports immune function and skin health, while vitamin K plays a crucial role in bone health and blood clotting.
Additionally, the dietary fiber in purple asparagus supports digestive regularity and helps keep you full longer.
Moreover, the vibrant color of this asparagus variety not only adds visual appeal but also contributes to its nutritional value, making it a valuable part of your diet.
16. Purple Bell Peppers
Purple bell peppers are high in vitamin C and a variety of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and quercetin.
These antioxidants are associated with anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce the risk of various health conditions.
Additionally, the dietary fiber found in purple bell peppers supports digestive health and weight loss.
Add purple bell peppers to salads, stir-fries, or as a colorful topping in sandwiches and wraps. They can also be enjoyed raw with a dip for a healthy snack.
17. Purple Broccoli
Purple broccoli stands out for its anthocyanin and sulforaphane content, which may have cancer-fighting properties.
It is also a source of vitamin C and fiber.
Incorporate purple broccoli by steaming or roasting it as a side dish. It can also be added to stir-fries, pasta dishes, or salads for a boost of color and nutrition.
18. Purple Kale
Purple kale is a nutrient powerhouse, offering vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is a source of vitamin C, which supports immune function and skin health.
Kale’s high vitamin A content also promotes good vision, and its dietary fiber contributes to digestive health.
19. Purple Onions
Purple onions provide a blend of antioxidants, including quercetin, which offers anti-inflammatory and heart health benefits.
Also, their low-calorie content and high fiber make them an ideal choice for weight management and digestive health.
Moreover, their unique taste and color can enhance the flavor and appeal of your culinary creations.
20. Forbidden Rice
Black rice, often referred to as “forbidden rice,” is a distinctive variety known for its deep purple hue when cooked. This unique grain stands out not only for its striking color but also for its exceptional nutritional benefits.
Unlike many other rice types, forbidden rice is highly pigmented and is an excellent source of anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants with potential cancer-fighting properties.
Research has shown that the anthocyanins in black rice can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce cell death. While these findings are primarily based on test-tube and animal studies, they reflect what forbidden rice can do.
Moreover, the visually appealing color of forbidden rice can be used as a colorful alternative to white or brown rice, adding not only a vibrant touch to your dishes but also a valuable source of antioxidants.
You can incorporate forbidden rice into a wide range of recipes, from soups and stir-fries to pilafs, to enjoy both its unique flavor and potential health benefits.
Incorporating a spectrum of purple foods into your diet offers a delightful and nutritious way to support your overall wellbeing.
The deep, natural shades of these foods indicate the rich antioxidants and compounds they contain, from anthocyanins to quercetin and more.
These antioxidants hold the potential to reduce inflammation, protect cells from oxidative stress, and lower the risk of chronic diseases.
The wide range of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber in purple foods also contribute to their health benefits, from supporting immune function and skin health to promoting digestive regularity.
So, remember to try these foods in your various dishes to not only boost nutrition, but also enhance the color of your meals.
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