Did you know that adding colorful foods to your diet improves your health? That’s
right! Eating colorful fruits and veggies adds necessary vitamins, antioxidants and
nutrients to your diet. In addition to maintaining good health, diversifying your
dietary color palette can help protect against cancer, heart disease, vision loss,
improve brain function and reduce cholesterol.
But what is the health benefit of each color?
Foods that are red such as tomatoes, beets, and red apples benefit our heart health,
help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. The color red comes from the
lycopene and anthocyanins in the plant causing phytochemicals to produce a red
color. Red foods are packed with powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation,
help with headaches and reduce the impacts of arthritis over time.
Blue and purple foods owe their color to the organic compound known as
anthocyanin which is a type of flavonoid with rich antioxidant properties. Blue and
purple foods are some of the rarest in the rainbow! These fruits and veggies such as
eggplant, cabbage, purple tomatoes and blueberries have been proven to promote
healthy aging, boost our moods and improve our memories over time.
Orange and yellow foods such as carrots, pumpkins and corn help with eye health
and maintaining our skin and bone health. The orange hue we see in these foods
comes from the antioxidant beta-carotene while yellow comes from carotenoids,
anthocyanins and betalains.
And finally, green foods such as spinach, peas and avocado help regulate digestion
and improve our immune systems. The green color often comes from chlorophyll, a
green pigment commonly found in the leaves of plants. These plant compounds are
known to help us fight diseases and are filled with nitrates, another plant nutrient,
that reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease and packs our diets full of vitamin C,
folate, calcium, iron and other nutrients to benefit our health long term.
The more color the better! Next time you get ready to prep your quick weekday
lunch or dinner; consider packing your plate full of color.