Why healthy diets are colorful diets

If you’re looking for a simple way to get key nutrients into your diet, it doesn’t get much easier than sorting it by color.

Each color signifies different nutrients. For optimal health, have one of each. Photo: Ja Ma/ Unsplash

There are plenty of reasons why vegetables and fruits come in different hues, tones and colors: One is the environment in which they’re grown, another is an act of camouflage against hungry animals, but most importantly, different colors signify different nutrients.

Eating colorfully is an easy way to make sure you’re getting all of your nutrients. If your dinner plate looks like an underwhelming cacophony of color variety, you’re probably missing out on some key nutrients.

Below, we break down five vegetables and fruits by their color and corresponding nutritional value; mix and match these options throughout your meals and experience the joy of a well-balanced diet.

Red

Not only is the color red highly attractive to the eye, it also boasts plenty of health benefits in fruits and veggies. Photo: Thomas Martinsen/Unsplash
Ah yes, the color of passion — or, in this case, the color of tomatoes and bell peppers.

Red pigment in fruits and veggies contains the carotenoid lycopene. According to Berkeley Wellness, “this may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including stimulating the immune system to battle cancer cells, blocking the destructive action of free radicals in the body and lowering the potency of the male hormone testosterone, which can fuel prostate cancer.”

Yellow/green

Green machines. Photo: HoachLe Dinh/Unsplash
Limonoids, which are compounds found in citrus fruits, have been proven to help fight the following cancers: skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.

We recommend yellow bell peppers, grapefruit, lemons and squash.

Blue

Blue fruit comes with a myriad of health benefits, including cancer-fighting agents. Photo: Jeremy Ricketts/Unsplash
Blueberries are small, but mighty. The bold and blue fruit is shown to contain more antioxidants than any other food.

Throw them on top of oatmeal, blend them in smoothies or eat them straight off the bush.

White

Garlic may be a polarizing vegetable, but its health benefits are undeniable. Photo: Matthew Pilachowski/Unsplash
Onions, garlic, mushrooms: What do they all have in common? Besides their color, they also each contain flavonoids, which aid in reducing the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Orange

Keep those eyes healthy with some help from orange produce. Photo: Vishang Soni/Unsplash
One of the more common colors in the world of produce, orange appears everywhere from apricots to, well, oranges.

Orange produce is known to contain beta carotene, which aids in vision and overall eye health, as well as cultivating a strong immune system. The benefits associated with orange fruits and vegetables include healthy skin and bones as well as warding off heart disease.

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