Eat the Rainbow

September 8, 2020

You’ve likely heard the advice, “eat the rainbow” when it comes to making healthy food choices.  What does this really mean though, and why should we do it?  Eating 5 or more servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day is an integral part of healthy living. Deeply hued veggies and fruits provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that our bodies need to maintain good health and energy levels, protect against the effects of aging, and reduce disease risk.  There are myriad options to add color to your plate, so check the ideas out below and add some today!

Red: Red fruits and veggies contain high levels of lycopene and anthocyanins and help maintain:

  • Heart health
  • Memory function
  • Lower risk of some cancers
  • Urinary tract health

Red Foods:

Red applesRed pearsRed peppers
Blood orangesPomegranatesRadishes
CherriesRaspberriesBeets
CranberriesStrawberriesRadicchio
Red grapesWatermelonRed onions
Pink/Red grapefruitTomatoesRhubarb

Orange/Yellow: Orange and yellow fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids and help maintain:

  • Heart health
  • Vision health
  • Lower risk of some cancers
  • Healthy immune system

Orange/Yellow Foods:

Yellow applesGolden kiwifruitYellow/orange peppers
ApricotsLemonCarrots
CantaloupeMangoesYellow potatoes
Cape gooseberriesNectarinesRutabagas
Yellow figsPeachesYellow squash
GrapefruitYellow pearsSweet corn
OrangesPineappleSweet potatoes
PapayasYellow beetsYellow tomatoes
TangerinesButternut squash 

Green: Green veggies and fruits are packed with minerals and important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B, C, E, and K and help maintain:

  • Vision health
  • Regular blood sugar levels
  • Immune system health
  • Strong bones and teeth
  • Lower risk of some cancers

Green Foods:

AvocadosAsparagusLeafy greens
Green applesBroccoliLeeks
Green grapesBroccoli rabeLettuce
HoneydewBrussels sproutsOkra
KiwifruitGreen cabbagePeas
LiesGreen beansGreen pepper
Green pearsCelerySugar snap peas
ArtichokesCucumbersSpinach
ArugulaEndiveZucchini

Blue/Purple: Blue and Purple fruits and veggies are rich in anthocyanins, which act as strong antioxidants, and helps maintain:

  • Memory function
  • Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer
  • Urinary tract health
  • Healthy aging
  • Healthy digestion

Blue/Purple Foods:

BlueberriesPurple grapesPurple potatoes
BlackberriesPlumsEggplant
Black currantsRaisinsPurple peppers
Dried plumsPurple asparagusPurple Belgian endive
ElderberriesPurple cabbageBlack salsify
Purple figsPurple carrots 

White: White veggies and fruits contain nutrients known to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol and help maintain:

  • Immune system health
  • Heart health
  • Lower risk of some cancers

White Foods:

BananasGarlicOnions
Brown pearsGingerParsnips
DatesJerusalem artichokePotatoes
White nectarinesJicamaShallots
White peachesKohlrabiTurnips
CauliflowerMushroomsWhite corn

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