7 Incredible White Vegetables With Health Promoting Properties

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Have you heard that it’s great to add colorful fruits and veggies to your plate?

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I agree, but this can sometimes be misinterpreted that you shouldn’t have white vegetables.

I’m here to dispel that! White vegetables offer variety, nutrition and some unique health promoting properties. Keep reading to learn why white veggies should get more air time!

Disclaimer: This article is just providing education, and is not a substitute for medical or dietary advice. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns, if you want to make major dietary changes, or take a supplement. See our Disclaimers for more details.

What Are White Vegetables After All?

When I say ‘white vegetables,’ I’m referring to veggies that are white, or sometimes ‘cream’ in color.

Although the term ‘vegetables’ can be very broad botanically, for purposes of this article, we are going to include foods that are within the MyPlate.gov subgroups. These subgroups are(1):

  • dark green (ex: broccoli, bitter melon)
  • red and orange (ex: red peppers, carrots)
  • lentils, peas and beans (ex: garbanzo beans and green lentils)
  • starchy (ex: cassava, white potatoes)
  • other vegetables (ex: celery, cauliflower, mushrooms)

White vegetables fall under several of these categories, and provide important vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants (like just about any other veggie)!

So don’t judge a veggie by it’s lack of color. White veggies bring a wide range of benefits to our plates as you are about to find out!

List of 7 White Vegetables with Health Promoting Properties

FYI: there are many more noteworthy white vegetables that I didn’t mention here (it would be incredibly long).

Hopefully you get the gist from reading this list: white veggies are amazing!

Here’s the quick list that I rounded up (keep reading to learn about their health promoting properties!):

  • Parsnips
  • Cauliflower
  • White or New potatoes
  • White Onions
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Hearts of Palm
  • Daikon


several whole, raw parsnips on a black background.

These white root vegetables taste very much like carrots, but are nutritionally different!

For instance, carrots are rich in beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), while parsnips are not.

Parsnips are a good source of nutrients, like potassium and vitamin K (2) and, they go nicely roasted with other colorful root veggies!


a head of cauliflower on a black background.

Ever thought caulfilower is just ‘white broccoli?’

While they are quite different – both broccoli and cauliflower are in the cruciferous vegetable family!

Cauliflower contains something called glucosinolates which may have anti-cancer properties (3).

It’s mild flavor makes it easy to blend into dishes like soups and spreads for more veggie power.

White or New Potatoes

canned whole potatoes

The humble potato has been so misunderstood!

Perhaps that’s because French fires are so popular.

I hope I don’t have to be the first person to tell you that frying potatoes in oil that has been used before (this is done in several fast food restaurants) isn’t good for you.

But, white potatoes by themselves are rich sources of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6(4).

Not only are they nutrition powerhouses, but one study suggests boiled potatoes are one the most satiating foods(5).

In short, to get more health benefits from your potatoes, go for boiled instead of fried or potato chips.

White Onions

bag of multiple white onions.

Despite onions being used as a herb for culinary purposes- they are actually vegetables!

White onions add a unique flavor and host of antioxidants, that some research suggest may have protective effects against cardiovascular diseases(6).

It’s hard to beat the classic flavor that they bring- whether it’s dishes like tofu scramble or a eaten raw as a topping!

Water Chestnuts

cans of water chestnuts.

Don’t be confused by the name! While chestnuts are nuts, water chestnuts are actually an aquatic vegetable.

Unlike nuts, water chestnuts contain very little fat, and are chockful of potassium, and certain B vitamins, like riboflavin and vitamin b6(7).

So don’t discount water chestnuts for their nutritional value!

You’ve probably noticed these white veggies in certain stir fry mixes or in a can at the grocery store.

Their texture is hard to beat! They add an enjoyable crispiness to mixed dishes.

Hearts of Palm

a can containing hearts of palm.

Like the name implies, hearts of palm are a vegetable that come from specific palm trees (8). But unlike saturated fat laden palm oil, hearts of palm contain hardly any fat.

Instead, they are decent sources of nutrients like calcium – a nutrient that is so important for bone health, and iron (9), making them a nutrient filled addition to salads, soups, and more!

Many canned hearts of palm are high in sodium because sodium is used as a preservative. To reduce some of this, rinse your hearts of palm with clean water.


white daikon radishes on a black background

You probably know that daikon can come in a variety of colors, including white, but did you know that they are radishes?

These radishes contain antioxidants such as polyphenols and anthocyanins that help fight free radicals(10).

This veggie is commonly used in Asian cuisine. It’s sometimes used as a crunchy topping for salads or incorporated in stir-fry.

Did you learn something new about white vegetables healthfulness? Let me know in the comments!
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2 thoughts on “7 Incredible White Vegetables With Health Promoting Properties”

  1. I completely agree that white vegetables provide nutrition and variety. Cauliflower is my favorite white vegetable from this list!

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