What the Color of Your Food Says About Its Nutrients

September 22, 2014

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Mother Nature has a good reason for making broccoli green, pumpkin orange, and tomato red. The color your food says a lot about the nutrients it contains. A colorful plate indicates you’re reaping health benefits from a variety of nutrients, which will put you well on your way to adopting a healthier lifestyle and reaching your weight loss goals!


Orange is the star of fall produce???pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots, to name a few. The antioxidant beta-carotene gives these foods their orange color, which is converted to vitamin A when it’s consumed. Research shows vitamin A and beta-carotene have cancer-fighting properties and promote bone growth and healthy vision.


Your mother was on to something when she told you to eat more greens. The long list of nutrients found in green, leafy vegetables include vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, folate, vitamin E, and potassium. The good news is you have plenty of filling, healthy greens to pick from including spinach, kale, cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, peas, and green peppers. You can’t go wrong with a green, leafy salad for lunch or a side of green veggies tossed with olive oil and garlic for dinner.


Red is the universal color for heart healthy, and red fruits and vegetables are no exception. Red fruits and veggies like watermelon and tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant known to reduce the risk for certain cancers. Red peppers dipped in hummus, grapes, or raspberries make for the perfect heart-healthy snack!


You may have been told to steer clear of white and brown foods like rice, pasta, and potatoes if you want to lose weight. However, these foods are not off limits. In fact, many white and brown foods including brown rice, potatoes, onions, turnips, and cauliflower have sizeable health benefits. Brown rice and potatoes pack a high-fiber punch, while other white and brown foods contain chemicals that may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.


Blue and purple fruits are veggies are known for being high in flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Flavonoids give fruits and vegetables like eggplant, blueberries, raisins, and plums their vibrant colors. Studies show the nutritional benefits can help protect against stroke, heart disease, and certain cancers. Need a brain boost? Eating more blueberries is linked with improved memory and healthy cognitive aging.

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