21 Types of Foods That are Purple

Foods That are Purple
Photo by Alexander Grey

Purple foods are often considered exotic or expensive. In reality, they are quite affordable and nutritious.

What are some foods that are purple that you should try? We shall talk about that in this article.

These foods contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that gives them their color. Anthocyanin has also been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.

Purple foods aren’t necessarily bad for you. In fact, some of these foods are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. 

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause cell damage and can contribute to chronic diseases such as cancer. 

Eating purple foods regularly can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. So now, let’s check out some of these nutritious purple foods.

1. Purple Carrot

Purple carrots are tasty, crunchy veggies containing various polyphenol antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, cinnamic acid, and chlorogenic acid.

According to research, those who consume diets high in polyphenols have lower risks of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes than those who consume diets lacking these vital antioxidants.

Introducing purple carrots into your diet is a smart strategy to improve your health because they have more polyphenol antioxidants than other carrot varieties.

2. Passion Fruit

Ripe passion fruits have a yellow or purple rind that protects the sweet, velvety flesh filled with crunchy seeds. 

Piceatannol, a unique polyphenol antioxidant found in passion fruit, has numerous remarkable health-promoting properties. It may be highly advantageous for skin health.

For instance, test-tube research reveals that piceatannol extracted from passion fruit protected skin cells from solar damage.

In addition, a study on 32 women with dry skin showed that consuming 5 mg of piceatannol for eight weeks improved skin hydration.

3. Purple Mangosteen

As its name implies, purple mangosteen is among the types of foods that are purple. Mangosteens have a hard, dark purple peel on the outside that must be removed to eat the sour, slightly sweet fruit inside.

They are a great source of fiber and folate, a B vitamin crucial for many bodily functions, including the creation of DNA and red blood cells.

These rare fruits also contain antioxidants known as xanthones, which have been found in certain studies to have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anticancer properties.

4. Purple Barley

Barley comes in various colors, including black, blue, yellow, and purple. All kinds of barley are rich in fiber and minerals like manganese, iron, magnesium, and selenium.

Purple barley is a fantastic nutritional ingredient because it is rich in anthocyanins and these nutrients. Additionally, beta-glucan, a type of fiber associated with numerous health advantages, is abundant in barley.

Study shows that beta-glucan may boost immunological function, lower risk factors for heart disease, and improve digestive health.

Furthermore, those who consume diets high in whole grains, including purple barley, have lower rates of illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancers.

5. Purple Cabbage

Foods that are purple also include purple cabbage. All cabbage types are incredibly nutrient-dense. However, purple cabbage has anthocyanins that increase the benefits of this cruciferous vegetable for your health even further.

Purple cabbage has a high provitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber content. In addition, it has strong anti-inflammatory properties because its highly pigmented leaves contain significant amounts of active plant chemicals.

Purple cabbage is a great addition to slaws, stews, and stir-fries and can be prepared similarly to green cabbage.

6. Acai Berries

Acai berries are deep purple fruits that have gained popularity in the wellness world due to their high antioxidant content, particularly anthocyanins.

These berries can be used in various recipes, including acai bowls, a Brazilian meal made of frozen, blended acai berries. They are also processed into medicinal liquids, powders, and concentrated supplements.

The health benefits of these delicious purple berries are numerous. They could boost the number of antioxidants in the blood and assist in lowering inflammation, excessive blood sugar, and cholesterol.

7. Purple Cauliflower

This cruciferous vegetable is among the types of food that are purple. Purple cauliflower, which has a genetic mutation that gives it a deep purple color, contains anthocyanins.

In addition to adding color to any dish, purple cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties and may give protection from certain cancers, including colorectal cancer. 

Increasing the number of cruciferous vegetables in your diet, such as cauliflower, may reduce your chance of developing heart disease and extend your life span.

8. Figs

Figs are a luxuriant addition to any meal because they are natural fruits in Mediterranean and Western Asian countries. This palm-sized fruit with a thick layer of purple skin has become a significant commercial crop in its home areas.

Most of us are familiar with preserved figs, whether dried or sugared. Because the fruit is very delicate and can easily overripen and develop a sour smell, exporting the fruit fresh is uncommon.

In addition, the high quantities of fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in figs can help you maintain a healthy digestive system.

9. Lavender

This common purple flower makes our list of foods that are purple. Not only do they have a purple color, but they also have a lot of benefits; lavender’s aromatic essential oil is used to relax, soothe the digestive system, treat insomnia, and ease anxiety.

However, did you know that these lovely lilac flowers serve a use in the kitchen? Pasta, salads, sauces, and desserts can benefit from their subtle flowery flavor. Additionally, you can use it to make herbal tea, candies, or a cake garnish.

Lavender flowers are used in creating some artisan monofloral honey, which restricts the available food sources for the bee colony to only lavender flowers.

The health advantages of lavender oil are also imparted to your food by the lavender smell, which penetrates the honey.

10. Prunes

Prunes are a rich source of beneficial chemicals since the drying process increases the concentration of fiber, vitamins, and other ingredients. 

In addition, prunes, among other things, have a lot of natural sorbitol, which makes them have a laxative effect if you eat a lot of them. Both savory and sweet recipes benefit from the sweet flavor that this deep purple food provides.

11. Purple Basil

This stunning variety of basil is among the types of foods that are purple. They’re often used in pesto or as a decorative garnish.

This herb tastes rather peppery with undertones of the classic basil flavor. The purple type of kitchen basil has even more nutrients than the standard variety, and it’s a particularly rich source of vitamin K, which supports the health of the bones and blood.

12. Purple Brocolli

This purple type of common favorite is rich in beneficial nutrients. The florets are positioned on long stems that become soft with gentle cooking and are often looser than the commercial green variety.

The purple broccoli was developed in England because of its toughness in the face of lengthy winters; the vegetable would flower even in the chilly spring months, providing some variety from the winter’s root vegetable staples.

13. Purple Kale

Purple kale has the strongest cabbage flavor compared to all the other kale kinds. The leaves are semi-crispy and chewy while raw, but when cooked, they soften. 

You can get a lot of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and C, protein, carbs, and fiber. Hearty soups with smoked pork, potatoes, beans, or barley go well with purple kale.

14. Purple Potatoes

If you’ve been researching the types of foods that are purple, you would have come across the purple sweet potato.

This purple potato features beautiful purple flesh and an outer skin that ranges in color from medium to dark blue-purple. They can be used in your favorite potato meals and have earthier flavors than conventional white potatoes.

Suppose those reasons aren’t enough to convince you to try this colorful variety. In that case, you should know that it offers more potassium than a banana and a lower glycemic index than white varieties. 

Purple potatoes would be a surefire method to up your antioxidant intake, especially given how many potatoes we consume annually.

15. Purple Yam

This particular type is a strong violet-purple hue, unlike the majority of yams and sweet potatoes, which are white or yellow.

This purple delicacy, widely available throughout Southeast Asia, can be used as a flavor or coloring for desserts, including ice cream, milk, Swiss rolls, doughnuts, tarts, cookies, and more.

Its sweet, nutty flavor complements both sweet and savory foods. The vegetable is a key component in many traditional cuisines, notably the Filipino dessert “ube halaya,” and the tubers can be chopped into purple crisps.

In addition to their versatility, purple yams are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients.

16. Star Apple

This seasonal tropical fruit can get as big as an apple and tastes like mangosteen. They’re also among foods that are purple.

When you cut the fruit in half, the seeds inside take on the appearance of a star, thus the name “star apple.” The pulp surrounding the seeds is a creamy white color; you can eat them raw or use them to produce juice and milkshakes.

The fruit is also a traditional medicine to cure sore throats and lessen inflammation caused by pneumonia and laryngitis.

17. Violets

Wild violets, which thrive in gardens, lawns, and cracks in the pavement, are seen as weeds. 

While the petals are a lovely sight and provide a nice smell in early spring, few people know this delicate plant has uses in the kitchen and medicine cabinet.

But before you begin gathering wildflowers, be careful. Some look similar but are poisonous, so ensure you have the right variety.

Edible violets may give color to salads, pesto, and sandwiches, and as a herbal remedy, they have been used for respiratory treatments, wound healing, and anti-inflammatories.

18. Purple Grapes

While there are many different colors of grapes, purple grapes are among the tastiest tasting. That’s advantageous because they also have a wide variety of healthy vitamins and minerals. 

While grapes are delicious on their own, they also make an excellent addition to fruit salads, so give them a try for a delicious treat. They’re among the nutritional foods that are purple.

19. Purple Eggplants

This elongated purple vegetable, also known as aubergine or brinjal, is perhaps the one you are most familiar with. Although the flesh is white, spongy, and slightly bitter, the skin has a royal purple color.

Since it has a spongy texture, eggplant easily absorbs flavors and seasonings from sauces, making it a great meat alternative in various cuisines.

In addition to lowering the carbon footprint of your dinner, substituting eggplant for meat in a dish increases the number of antioxidants that will help keep your body healthy.

20. Forbidden Rice

This type of rice is also referred to as “black rice” due to the blackness of the uncooked grains; however, the color changes to a rich purple when cooked.

Since only the wealthy upper classes in China could afford this uncommon and expensive type, it acquired the name “forbidden rice.” As a good source of antioxidants in the diet, forbidden rice has high quantities of anthocyanins.

The grain is naturally gluten-free and provides a nutritious carbohydrate source for those who follow a gluten-free diet.

21. Purple Asparagus

Although asparagus is often thought of as a staple of the green vegetable family, purple kinds also have high anthocyanins in their stems and tips.

Purple asparagus has a nuttier flavor and is slightly sweeter than typical green asparagus due to a higher concentration of sugar in its stems.

While these eye-catching purple vegetables are great fresh in a salad with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon, they can also be cooked in any of your favorite asparagus dishes, such as pasta and quiche. However, the purple tint fades when cooked.


Hope you enjoyed this article on foods that are purple. These foods offer many health benefits and add colors to your diet. 

For your next meal or snack, try adding a couple of fruits, veggies, and grains to this list to benefit from their health-promoting qualities.

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