…Though I do like skittles. And pink starbursts…but I digress…
Do you ever think about what colors are on your plate when you eat? Probably not. A common problem seen in the typical American diet is that our plates are mostly… BEIGE (pasta, bread, cookies, etc).
Don’t get me wrong, I love beige when it comes to my clothes (and black, and white, and gray).
BUT your PLATE should have more color. Beige processed foods typically lack many of the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that are so plentiful in plant foods.
By eating a variety of colors, we can ensure we’re feeding our bodies all of the nutrients it needs.
What does this variety do for you exactly? Eating a wide range of plant foods is extremely beneficial because different colored foods play different roles in the body. The color of fruits and veggies is actually representative of the nutrients that they contain, and different nutrients are needed for different bodily functions. So, the greater variety of fruits and vegetables you consume, the better off your health will be.
Let’s provide a visual, shall we? The foods, their makeup, and their benefits extend far beyond the list below. These are just some examples of how color variety can be beneficial to your health.
Cantaloupe, lemon, grapefruit, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, peaches, apricots, mango
Contain: Beta-carotene, Flavonoids, Lycopene, Potassium, Vitamin C, Zeaxanthin
Benefits: Vision/optimal eye health, Lower cholesterol and blood pressure, Fight free radicals, Build healthy bones and joints, Support immune function
Cherries, cranberries, tomatoes, beets, raspberries, red bell peppers, radishes, watermelon
Contain: Ellagic acid, Quercetin, Hesperidin, Lycopene, Vitamin C, Folate
Benefits: Increase heart and circulatory health, Support urinary tract health, Support prostate and breast tissue health, Fight free radicals, Fight tumor growth, Improve memory
Green apples, grapes, and pears, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, green beans, celery, and green peppers
Contain: Chlorophyll, Lutein, Vitamin K, Folic Acid, Fiber, Calcium, Folate, Vitamin C, Potassium Beta-carotene, Zeaxanthin, Vitamin E
Benefits: Assist liver in removing carcinogenic compounds, Anticancer properties, Blood clot formation, Protect against macular degeneration, Support digestion, Immune health, Rejuvenate bone/ teeth strength
Blackberries, blueberries, plums, eggplant, purple grapes, purple figs, and purple cabbage
Contain: Anthocyanins, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Resveratrol, Vit C, Flavonoids, Fiber, Ellagic Acid, Quercetin
Benefits: Increased circulation and microcirculation, Anti-aging properties, Bone health, Improve memory, Immune health, Decreased risk of cancer, High antioxidant activity
Garlic, onions, ginger, white peaches, cauliflower, mushrooms, turnips, white potatoes
Contain: Beta glucans, EGCG, SDG, Lignans, Flavonoids
Benefits: Balance hormones, Enhanced immune system and lymph system health, Activate natural killer B and T cells, Aid in cellular recovery, Reduce risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer, Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Was this helpful in planning you (and probably your little one’s) next meals? Be sure to check out a few of my recipes – with ALL THE COLOR – here! & we’re not just talkin salads, we’re talking pizza and pad thai and pancakes and granola… so don’t miss out.