Eat Your Colors!

Posted by Sarah Polacco on

 

We know that eating your fruits and vegetables is super important, but have you ever thought about the assortment of colors within your diet?

Different colored foods offer different kinds of nutrients. We often spend a lot of time focusing on just getting the greens into our diet, but there are tons of health benefits from eating foods of all different colors! If you are only eating one kind of color, you are limiting the nutrients your body needs to live, breathe, and thrive.

Other food components such as proteins (chicken, steak etc.) and starchy carbohydrates (rice, pastas etc.) are generally tan, white, and bland colored. So, if you focus on adding more color to your meals, that color will generally mean more and various kinds of vegetables and fruits. Emphasizing more color into your diet may also help you try new foods. And who knows, you just might find your new favorite food or recipe!

Let’s talk in a little more detail about each color and what benefits they offer.

Red

Foods: Tomatoes, Cherries, Red Bell Peppers, Beets, Raspberries, Red Cabbage, Grapefruit, Red onions.

Benefits: Great source of Lycopene. Benefits heart health, decreases risk for certain types of cancers, decreases inflammation in the body and helps digestive health.

Orange/Yellow

Foods: Carrots, Oranges and other Citrus fruits, Sweet Potatoes, Peaches, Mangos, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Pineapple, Ginger, Pumpkin, Corn, Turmeric, Yellow Peppers,

Benefits: Great source of Alpha carotene and Beta carotene. Improves skin and eye health, strengthens immunity, and decreases risk of cancer.

Green

Foods: Green beans, Spinach, Arugula, Peas, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Chard, Bok Choy, Kale, Parsley, Collard Greens, Green Peppers, Kiwi, Asparagus, Celery, Cucumbers

Benefits: Great source of phytochemicals. Lowers risk of some cancers, strengthens teeth, muscles and bones. 

Purple/Blue

Foods: Eggplant, Blackberries, Blueberries, Beets, Purple potatoes, Grapes, Purple Asparagus, Purple Carrots

Benefits: Has anti-aging properties, lowers the risk of some cancers, increases circulation, and helps to improve memory.

White

Foods: Parsnips, Onions, Cauliflower, Garlic, Coconut, Apples, Mushrooms,

Benefits: Great source of Flavonols, quercetin, sulfides. Lowers cholesterol, improves heart health, and improves immunity.

 

Sources used:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/color-chart

http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/nutrition/eat-colorful-foods-for-better-health.html

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