Good nutrition comes in colors August 03 2015

One of the simplest tricks to good nutrition is to make sure you’re eating a variety of colors – from dark leafy greens to brightly colored citrus fruits.  A diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables can help ensure you’re getting the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your brain and body need.  Here are a few colors that you should be sure to get into your diet as often as possible:

  • RED:  Red in fruits and vegetables is typically a sign of vitamin A, also known as beta carotene, and vitamin C.  Cherries, red grapes, raspberries, cranberries, beets, red bell peppers, strawberries, and apples are good options of red produce to choose frequently.  Tomatoes, watermelon, and red grapefruit are also loaded with lycopene, a cancer-fighting phytonutrient so load up on those too 
  • ORANGE:  The color orange usually means there is a healthy serving of vitamins C, A, and B6 along with the mineral potassium.  Oranges, apricots, mangoes, pumpkin, peaches, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and orange peppers are healthy choices to add some orange into your diet.
  • YELLOW:  Yellow fruits and veggies usually deliver vitamin A, magnesium, manganese, and potassium as well as fiber into the diet.  Banana, corn, pears, pineapple, cauliflower, onions, summer and spaghetti squash, potatoes, and yellow bell peppers are some terrific options to yellow produce on your plate.
  • GREEN:  The color green signifies a powerful source of nutrients and iron too.  Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, chard, collard greens), broccoli, green grapes, kiwi, zucchini, avocado, snow peas, and asparagus should be eaten frequently.
  • PURPLE/BLUE:  Foods in this colorful category usually contain powerful antioxidants that help prevent the body from cellular damage.  Blueberries, purple grapes, plums, cabbage, eggplant, blackberries, purple potatoes, purple cauliflower, and even purple carrots are from foods that have health benefits you definitely do not want to miss out on.

Aim to fill at least half of your plate with color, especially from vegetables.  Choosing produce as varied and vibrant as the rainbow may help fight diseases, slow aging, promote body health and optimal weight and add to brain health. 

Written by Melissa Warner