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:
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.
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.