Are You Colorblind?


I talk a lot with my clients about eating all the vibrant colors of the rainbow when it comes to fruits and vegetables. There are over 1,000 fruits and vegetables available across the world. According to the CDC only 1 in 10 are eating the recommended 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables. Below is a quick synopsis of each color and what it can do to support your body.

Orange/Red

Whether you think of a blazing fire or an early morning sunrise, orange and red are two of the most vibrant colors in the spectrum and the highest in vitamin C, folate an flavonoids that reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties. Orange foods like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, and cantaloupe, include a plant compound known as carotenoids. Carotenoids include beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A has many roles within the body: it helps support the function of white blood cells (which is important for a healthy immune system), promotes bone growth, and helps to regulate cell growth and division. Vitamin A and two other types of carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are also important for healthy vision.


Green

If you’re looking to boost your iron levels, go for the greens! Try new veggies such as bok choy, mesclun, turnip greens, kale, or watercress while revisiting some old favorites like broccoli, collard greens, romaine lettuce, and spinach. This will put you well on your way to the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Included in the long list of nutrients found in these veggies are potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

What I find to be a huge benefit to green foods is there phytochemical presence called sulforaphane which is used for detoxification. Detoxing is important to balance hormones, to promote good gut health and brain health.


Blue and Purple

Blue and purple foods add interest to the color palate of your plate and also bring considerable nutritional value to the table. The blue compound that makes blueberries blue is a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin that may protect against cancer and heart disease, according to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. A study published in the Romanian Journal of Diabetes Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases in 2017 linked purple eggplant flour which reduced oxidative stress in hyperglycemic rats. Oxidative stress is linked with a range of diseases, including heart disease, cancer and Parkinson's disease.


Tan

Tan is not usually the most exciting color in the spectrum, but tan colored foods still come packed with many health benefits. Whole wheat breads, cereals, and pastas that are higher in fiber are usually tan in color. The insoluble fiber found in wheat bran, corn bran, fruit and vegetable skins, and whole grains may contribute to the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract and reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Another type of dietary fiber is called beta glucan. This component can also be found in tan foods such as oat bran, oatmeal, oat flour, barley, and rye. Beta glucan-containing foods may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.


White

Just because a food is white, doesn’t mean that it isn’t nutritious. Cauliflower and turnips contain rich amounts of compounds known as glucosinolates, which may provide some protection against cancer. Garlic and onions contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which can play an important role in managing chronic inflammation. White beans are valuable sources of protein and fiber, as well as B-vitamins, potassium and iron.


Yellow

Some orange/yellow vegetables, such as pumpkin and summer squash, contain the phytonutrient, lutein, which helps protect against degeneration of eye structure with aging. Carotenoids, like beta carotene, are the phytos that protect plants from sun damage.


Hopefully being aware of this dietary color concept, you can creatively begin to include fruits and vegetables at mealtime. In addition to simple things like adding fruits or vegetables to casseroles, cereal, or sandwiches, being open to trying new foods, recipes, or meal patterns will help to increase variety. Other ways to increase variety would include making fruits and vegetables more center of the plate when planning meals, including a fruit and/or vegetable at every eating occasion, adding an extra fruit and/or vegetable side dish to meals, and substituting fruits, vegetables, and beans for other ingredients such as meat in recipes. Change is hard! What if you had a strategy, personalized to meet your needs and fit your lifestyle, from a trained healthcare expert who's been where you are and who will empower you to become all you want to be? NOW, that would be EASY. Click here to schedule your free discovery call.


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