Including different COLORS in your plate – coming primarily from nutritious vegetables and fruits - is an easy and fun way to maximize the nutritional benefits of your meals (and make them more visually appealing!). Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies will help to increase your immunity, strengthen your muscles and bones, slow down your aging, improve your skin, and more!
Including a full color spectrum of fruits and vegetables is so important for promoting both internal and external health.
There are 5 main colors, and I suggest to have at least 3 colors present in each meal, ideally some green plus 2 other colors. And aim to have a bit of each color every day. This goes hand in hand with a recommendation that I give my clients, which is to include at least 2 different veggies (or fruits) in each meal. And every day, I suggest (generally speaking) having 5+ servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit, always switching it up.
Here are the benefits of each color, and some healthy foods in each category:
Benefits: Green foods contain chlorophyll and are high in essential nutrients such as folate, carotenoids and vitamin K. These are great for your eyes, bones and teeth, and reduce risk of disease. Chlorophyll-rich leafy greens in particular are also great for liver detoxification and boosting your metabolism.
Best Green Foods include: spinach, broccoli, asparagus, collard greens, bok choy, kale, arugula, kiwi, Brussel sprouts, artichoke, honeydew melon, limes and celery.
Benefits: White foods often contain nutrients such as allicin to promote heart health and reduce risk of disease. Many white foods (ex. garlic) also contain antiviral properties that fight infections and strengthen your immune system.
Best White Foods include: garlic, onions, cauliflower, mushrooms, bananas, jicama, pears and daikon radish.
Benefits: Red foods contain lycopene and anthocyanins, heart-healthy compounds which eliminate free radicals that damage genes. So they play a big role in helping to prevent cancer.
Best Red Foods include: red cabbage, tomato, red pepper, red onion, red apples, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, beets, watermelon, pomegranate and pink grapefruit.
ORANGE / YELLOW
Benefits: Orange and yellow foods tend to be high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C which improves immunity, and alpha- and beta-carotene, great for maintenance of healthy skin, wound healing, stronger bones and teeth. Research shows diets rich in alpha- and beta- carotene (vitamin A) also help to lower risk of some stomach cancers. Some yellow foods like raw lemons also aid in digestion and liver cleansing.
Best Orange Foods include: oranges, orange pepper, cantaloupe, mango, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potato, papaya and pumpkin.
Best Yellow Foods include: lemon, pineapple, turmeric, ginger, yellow squash, organic corn and passion fruit.
Benefits: Purple foods contain a phytonutrient known as anthocyanins, some flavonoids and ellagic acid, which help to improve your memory, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and fight cancer. Purple foods containing resveratrol also help promote healthy aging and support both brain and bone health.
Best Purple Foods include: purple cabbage, eggplant, grapes, purple potatoes, plums, raisins, blackberries, blueberries, and prunes.
Start experimenting with different fruits and veggies, aiming to have colorful plates at each meal. This is one of the easiest ways to boost your nutrition, keeping you younger and more beautiful, inside and out.
Love and Colorful Foods,