The Colorful Plate
Have you ever looked around the farmers market and noticed how colorful all the fresh fruits and veggies are? If you answered yes to the preceding question, chances are you may have also noticed the lack of color on your dinner plate. While the lack of color in your diet is not a good thing, you might find relief in the fact that you aren’t the only one with a predominantly colorless diet. In fact, it is estimated that a whopping 80% of American’s aren’t eating enough color! This means that 80% of American’s aren’t consuming the recommended amount of micronutrients. For those of you who are unaware, micronutrients are composed of tons of important healthy body requirements including phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Keep reading to find out what colors you should be eating each day, how to incorporate the color into your diet, and the benefits of each color. After reading through the foods and facts bellow, do your best to eat two servings of each color per day!
Red & Pink
Foods that are naturally red and pink contain the following beneficial micronutrients: Anthocyanin, Ellagic Acid, Lycopene, Quercetin, and Vitamin C. What’s great about these foods is that they are known for their ability to protect against cancer and heart disease. Additionally, these micronutrients have been found to support DNA health as well as urinary and prostate health. If you’re not sure which red and pink foods pack the most beneficial punch, here are a few of our favorites: pomegranates, red delicious apples, ruby red grapefruits, beets, and tomatoes.
Orange & Yellow
Micronutrients including Alpha Carotene, Beta Carotene, Potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C… you’re glad there’s so many beneficial nutrients in orange and yellow foods? All of these nutrients have been found essential for healthy growth, development and aging; they have also been found beneficial for healthy eye and immune function. Yummy orange and yellow foods that give you the best nutrient-punch include sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, squash, lemons, yellow peppers and bananas.
Green foods are stuffed full of all sorts of healthy micronutrients such as Calcium, Folate, Iron, Lutein, Magnesium, Potassium, Sulforaphane, and Vitamin K. There’s a reason green colored foods are often called superfoods. All of these micronutrients provide loads of benefits to the body including eye, lung, and liver health, as well as their ability to promote cell growth, wound healing, and oral health. Green foods that give you a dose of micronutrient-greatness include avocado, zucchini, kale, cucumbers, celery, and kiwi.
Blue & Purple
Sweet tasting blue foods include Folate, Potassium, and Vitamin C, all of which are powerful micronutrients. All of these nutrients work together to promote healthy heart and brain function, bone strength, and they work to defend the body against cancer, and foster healthy aging. It’s easy to reap all the benefits of blue and purple foods by eating yummy farmers market picks such as blueberries, grapes, eggplant, cabbage, red (purple) onion, and figs.
White & Tan
Although white is the most common color found on American’s plates, it’s often white colored pasta and tan colored bread. However, there are tons of vegetables that are white and tan, which are composed of powerful micronutrients including Allium, Flavanoids, Sulforaphane, and Vitamin C. All these nutrients found in white and tan foods have also been found to fight both heart disease and cancer, in addition to supporting a healthy bone structure and circulatory system. It’s easy to get the benefits of all these nutrients by eating scrumptious foods including mushrooms, onions, garlic, potatoes and cauliflower.