Monday, July 27, 2009

All the Colors of the Rainbow

When I am strolling down the street at my local Farmers’ Market and the tables are bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables of every color, I know it is summertime. Dark red cherries or a bright yellow head of corn never cease to excite me!

Take advantage of nature’s palette of color to enhance food’s eye appeal and health benefits. For me, nothing is so delicious or appealing as a variety of colors on my plate. Also, research is uncovering the benefits of the pigment-related phytonutrients — and the colorful fruits and vegetables that supply them. Add these colors to your plate to get great flavor and health benefits:

  • Green:
    fruit — avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, lime
    vegetables — artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers, leafy greens.
    Their lutein and indoles have antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks.

  • Orange and deep yellow:
    fruit — apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach, pineapple
    vegetables — carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn, sweet potato.
    Carotenoids, bioflavonoids and the antioxidant vitamin C in these foods promote a healthy heat, vision, immunity and reduced risk for some cancers.

  • Purple and blue:
    fruit — blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins
    vegetables — eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato.
    Anthocyanins, which give a blue-purple color and phenolics, may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks.

  • Red:
    fruit — cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit, red grapes, watermelon
    vegetables — beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, tomatoes.
    This color group delivers lycopene, a powerful carotenoid, as well as anthocyanins. They may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks.

  • White, tan, brown:
    fruit — banana, brown pear, dates, white peaches
    vegetables — cauliflower, jicama, mushrooms, onions, turnips, white-fleshed potato.
    Allicin in onion (and garlic) and selenium in mushrooms may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.

Sarah Franz


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Christine Medifast said...

You can really put an entire rainbow together when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Thanks for sharing this. Looking forward to going to the farmers market this weekend even more now.

Eve said...

Hi Wendy Jo! Great post! I also just did a post on rainbow & nutrition.

Owyn Coupons said...

Under the rainbow is all the beauty in the world, especially when it comes to food. Healthy options are the best options and it's great that they come in excellent colors.

Melanie Rissetto said...

Great post! I learnt alot of valuable information from it :)