A colorful meal isn’t just great for social media posts, it can also be healthy! Eating a variety of fresh foods in an array of colors gives you all the nutrients your body needs, without having to look at the ingredients list! That’s because the nutrients that give plants their color, called phytonutrients, also benefit different parts of our body and guard against different diseases.
Here are the ways that foods in certain colors boost our health.
Tomatoes, Beets, Strawberries, Pomegranates, Watermelon, Raspberries
The nutrients offered by red fruits and vegetables are easy to remember because they help an organ of our body most often associated with the color. Red foods are good for the heart! These foods contain an antioxidant called carotenoid lycopene that helps destroy free radicals in our body that cause heart disease and certain types of cancer. It also helps lower cholesterol and decrease hypertension, which benefits your heart in the long run.
Orange & Yellow
Mangoes, Corn, Peaches, Pineapple, Carrots, Yellow Pepper, Papaya, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato
Orange and yellow foods give our skin a glow! Fruits and vegetables in this color range help boost our immune system and improve our skin health, too. They even help to keep both your eyesight and your bones healthy and strong. This is due to the orange and yellow colors coming from a nutrient called beta cryptothanxin, which encourages communication between your cells.
Spinach, Lettuce, Avocados, Beans, Peas, Asparagus, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Kiwi, Grapes
Green foods are superheroes against cancer-causing substances called carcinogens! These substances can be found in our environments and cause mutation of our cells which leads to cancer developing in our bodies. Green fruits and vegetables contain sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles, all chemicals which actually inhibit carcinogens from affecting our body’s cells. Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and cabbage also contain large amounts of folic acid, which is important in the growth of a baby while a woman is pregnant.
Blue & Purple
blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, Concord grapes, raisins, eggplant, plums, figs, prunes, lavender, purple cabbage
Blue and purple foods stop the clock! Well, almost. One of the nutrients present in blue and purple fruits and veggies is anthocyanin, which delays cellular aging. While they’re not the secret to eternal youth, blue and purple foods like eggplant, plums and blackberries keep us from aging prematurely and help our memories as we get older. They even prevent blood clots, which can cause serious heart complications.