9 Foods That Go by Different Names

by Dorian Martin Patient Advocate

Once, while watching a cooking show by Jamie Oliver, who hails from Great Britain, I noticed that he reached for cilantro, but called it coriander. That got me thinking – are there other healthy foods that may go by different names? Or do we make a mistake of thinking that some foods are the same, even though they’re not?


Rocket and arugula

Rocket and arugula are the same crop. This quick growing vegetable is related to mustard greens, cauliflower, and kale. This peppery type of greens is a wonderful source of vitamin A, several B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, and iron. It also is low calorie and a rich source of phytochemicals that help fight several kinds of cancer, including breast, cervical, colon, ovarian, and prostate.


Prawns versus shrimp

Slight differences exist between these two although they taste the same. A prawn is typically harvested in fresh water, tends to be larger and has claws on three pairs of legs. Shrimp is normally harvested from salt water, will be smaller and has claws on two pair of legs. They share a nutritional profile and both are good sources of selenium, vitamin B12, protein and phosphorus.


Scallions, green onions and bunching onions

They’re all the same. No matter what you call them, this vegetable is a type of allium that doesn’t form a bulb. Both the whites and greens can be used. Scallions are a good source of vitamins K, C, and A. These onions also contain several phytochemicals (including quercetin and anthocyanins) that support a healthy immune system and help prevent cancer.


Eggplant and aubergine

Eggplant, also known as aubergine, belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables. There are many varieties that can come in a variety of colors, including deep purple, lavender, jade green, orange, and yellow-white. This vegetable has important phytonutrients that can help protect brain and cardiovascular health and reduce the damage of oxidative stress that can promote cancer and damage to joints.

Broccoli rabe

Broccoli rabe and rapini

One and the same, this vegetable is related to the cabbage and the turnip. The greens are pungent and bitter and are popular in Italy. This vegetable is a rich source of glucosinolates, which have been found to be particularly effective against stomach, lung and colon cancer and also may protect against breast and prostate cancer. Rabe also is rich in vitamins A and C and folate.


Chickpeas and garbanzo beans

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are high in fiber and help to fill you up. Additionally, eating these beans helps the body maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin. Garbanzos are a good source of manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.

Cutting a sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes versus yams

These plants are not related botanically. Yams are related to lilies/grasses. Sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. Unless specifically looking for yams in an international market while in the U.S, you’re probably eating sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, vitamin C and manganese. Yams are good sources of fiber, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.

Celery root.

Celeriac and celery root

Celery root, or celeriac, is the root of the celery plant. It has a mild flavor with a hint of celery and parsley and a starchy texture. This vegetable is a good source of calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It also is high in sodium, so avoid adding salt to the water when cooking it.


Hazelnuts and filberts

These nuts, called either hazelnuts or filberts, are rich in dietary fiber, folate, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, manganese, potassium, calcium and copper. They also have flavonoids that support brain health, improve circulation and reduce symptoms related to allergies. However, beware of eating too many since one ounce of these nuts packs 178 calories.

Dorian Martin
Meet Our Writer
Dorian Martin

Dorian Martin writes about various topics for HealthCentral, including Alzheimer’s disease, diet/exercise, menopause and lung cancer. Dorian is a health and caregiving advocate living in College Station, TX. She has a Ph.D. in educational human resource development. Dorian also founded I Start Wondering, which encourages people to embrace a life-long learning approach to aging. She teaches Sheng Zhen Gong, a form of Qigong. Follow Dorian on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @doriannmartin.