Are the Purple Varieties of Vegetables Better for You Than Others?

purple veggies and other colorful carrots Photo: Getty Images

They could be. The purple versions of more commonly orange, yellow, and white vegetables—such as cauliflower and carrots—are like eggplant, blueberries, and other purple produce: They contain plant pigments called anthocyanins. These antioxidant compounds may help to prevent chronic illness, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

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Although there’s no recommended intake of violet-hued veggies—or anthocyanins, for that matter—eating more of them could be a healthy move, especially given that almost one-third of American adults don’t get any anthocyanins in their daily diets. Purple potatoes, for example, have been found to have five times as much antioxidant activity as white and yellow ones.

So if you come across a purple version of your favorite produce, give it a try. “Different colored vegetables have unique benefits,” says Amy Keating, RD, a nutritionist at Consumer Reports. “That’s one reason nutritionists recommend ‘eating the rainbow’—so you get a wide variety of nutrients.”

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the September 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.