What Is Ube, and Is It Good for You?

With its vibrant purple flesh and versatile function, ube seems like a vegetable made for social media. It’s no wonder the two-syllable tuber (pronounced “oo-beh”) is catching eyes there: On TikTok #ube has garnered more than 246 million views, and on Instagram #ube appears on more than 532,000 posts and counting.

What Is Ube, Anyway?

Ube is a purple root vegetable that was first grown in Southeast Asia, and people often refer to it as a purple yam — which is different from a purple sweet potato, according to the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Frieda’s Branded Products. A potential reason ube has gained popularity is its stunning purple color.

How Healthy Is Ube?

Like other veggies, ube is good for you because it’s packed with nutrients. In fact, ube gets its bright purple color from anthocyanins, a group of powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and the risk of certain cancers, according to past research (PDF).

Ube (Purple Yams) vs. Purple Sweet Potatoes

While ube and purple sweet potatoes are different botanically and have different skin as a result, nutritionally they’re similar.