Part of the challenge in feeding my family is incorporating a rainbow of foods each day. That’s because each color group in the rainbow has its own set of health properties and nutrients. In fact, different antioxidants impart a color hue to foods. Beta-carotene gives carrots and mangos their orange/yellow color and anthocyanins make strawberries red and blueberries blue, for example. To get the full spectrum of nutrients, all you need to do is eat the rainbow! (Yes, I do, on occasion, tell myself that my favorite glazed, sprinkles-covered donut has a rainbow of (mental) health properties.)
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables, click here.
Red: strawberries, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, red apples, watermelon, pomegranates, red peppers, tomatoes, radicchio, red cabbage, beets, radishes.
Orange/yellow: apricots, mango, cantaloupe, grapefruit, papaya, peaches, oranges, pineapples, lemons, tangerines, pumpkin, yellow pepper, carrots, winter squash, yellow summer squash, sweet potatoes.
Green: honeydew melon, green grapes, kiwi, limes, pears, avocado, asparagus, arugula, artichokes, broccoli, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, broccoli rabe, green peppers, green beans, peas, lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, zucchini, green cabbage, nori, scallion, assorted herbs.
Blue/purple: blackberries, blueberries, plums, grapes, eggplant, purple potatoes.
White: bananas, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions, ginger, parsnips, potatoes, shallots, turnips, leeks, oats.