Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that improve the health of your body and lower risk of disease. Depending on the different pigments used in certain fruits or vegetables, they can be linked to higher levels of nutrients and health benefits. Because of this, it’s important to eat from the rainbow and include a variety of colored fruits and vegetables in your daily eating habits.
Brown & White
Though they aren’t as brightly colored as other fruits and vegetables, white and brown foods are still great healthy choices. Cauliflower is rich in an anticancer compound called sulforaphane. Garlic and onions contain powerful health-promoting compounds to increase immune and gut health. White and brown fruits and vegetables are also known to lower cholesterol, increase heart health, and protect the stomach.
White and brown foods include: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, garlic, coconut, parsnips, jicama, and potatoes.
Yellow & Orange
Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, which ultimately helps promote healthy vision and cell growth. Citrus fruits are known to increase blood flow, which can help keep cold hands and feet warm, and can reduce your risk of stroke. Lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants found in yellow and orange foods, help prevent cataracts and can protect your eyes from damage caused by blue light emitted from phone, computer, or TV screens.
Yellow and orange foods include: pumpkins, pineapples, lemons, oranges, corn, carrots, grapefruit, mangoes, papayas, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, and peaches.
Red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene and ellagic acid, which have been studied for their cancer-fighting effects and other health benefits. Some vegetables, like beets, have been shown to affect the nitric oxide pathway, helping blood vessels dilate. Others protects against chronic diseases like heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The polyphenols and antioxidants in red fruits and vegetables may even help prevent skin cancer and offer skin protection against damaging effects from sunlight.
Red foods include: cherries, watermelon, red peppers, apples, strawberries, pomegranates, tomatoes, beets, kidney beans, cranberries, and raspberries.
Blue & Purple
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables have been studied extensively for their anticancer and antiaging properties. They’re rich in anthocyanins, which may help reduce the risk for heart disease, cognitive decline, and type 2 diabetes, as well as support healthy weight maintenance and a normal inflammatory response. Red grapes are full of antioxidants, like resveratrol, which has been associated with increased nitric oxide production and better heart health outcomes.
Blue and purple foods include: eggplant, red grapes, red cabbage, plums, prunes, red onions, figs, raisins, radishes, blueberries, and blackberries.
Similar to Popeye, green foods help us grow big and strong, but they also have other health benefits. They’re rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K – which is essential for blood and bone health. Green fruits and vegetables improve our digestion and eyesight, and can even prevent from some illnesses, like cancer. Greens are also a highly bioavailable source of calcium and vitamin K1, which have a positive impact on bone metabolism.
Green foods include: lettuce, avocado, pears, green apples, melons, green peppers, broccoli, kale, romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts, green grapes, kiwis, asparagus, green beans, peas, zucchinis, and cucumbers.