Mary Mack's picture

We all know that we are supposed to get in all the colors of the rainbow! We even have an article in this issue encouraging us to create better habits around doing just that. But what does is mean for our health when we eat the colors of the rainbow? What can eating a colorful diet do for you and what kinds of fruits and veggies should I eat?

 

Red

There’s a reason the American Heart Association uses the color RED:  red foods aid in heart heath, immunity boosts and curbing cancers. Lycopene has been found to reduce risk of some cancers and protect our cells from damage. Resverotrol found in grapes and grape skins boosts cardiac function and significantly reduce their risk of developing atherosclerosis. Many of these bring a heavy dose of Vitamin C boosting your immune system as well. Your heart and health will thank you.

  •  
  • Apples
  • Tomatoes
  • grapes
  • Raspberries
  • Beets
  • Watermelon
  • cherries

 

Orange/yellow

Orange and yellow foods are filled with carotenoids which our bodies can convert to vitamin A. There are over 700 rich carotenoids available to us and they fight against aging, cancer and boost immunity. They serve as powerful antioxidants by fighting free radicals in your body.  Eat your orange foods with a serving of healthy oil or fat for best absorption.

 

  • Carrots
  • Pumpkins
  • sweet potatoes
  • orange pepper
  • orange
  • lemons
  • squash
  • mango

 

Green

Leafy green foods are everywhere we look! Salads, pizzas, sandwiches, even dried kale made into chips! Green foods are filled with chlorophyll, a product of photosynthesis. When green foods use the sun for energy, we benefit! Go green with chlorophyll to curb your appetite, fight aging and naturally detox your body. Lutein to found in spinach is great for your eye and skin health.

 

  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Mustard greens
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • peas
  • Brussels sprouts

 
Blue

Everyone thinks of antioxidants when they think of blue foods, but your fruits and veggies are pigmented with anthocyanins belonging to the flavinoid class. They aid in our brain function, prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and some cancers.  The plants that produce anthocyanns do so to protect against environmental stressors. So, don’t be blue, eat blue!!
 

  • purple grapes
  • plums
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • raisins
  • figs
  • eggplant
  • purple cabbage

 

White

White foods may get a bad rap, don’t over look theses as powerhouse additives to your colorful diet! They still contain powerful photochemicals and also flavinoids and aid in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and may inhibit inflammation from osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. They may even help reduce seasonal allergies and that’s nothing to sneeze at!

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Mushroom
  • Bananas
  • Cauliflower
  • Turnip
  •  Parsnips
  •  Jerusalem artichoke

 

A few friendly tips for adding in MORE color to your diet:

  • Throw a handful of berries in your oatmeal
  • add spinach to your smoothie, I promise you can’t taste it!
  • Have a roasted veggie pizza nite at home!
  • Add onions and garlic to stir fry
  • Grate carrots and peppers on your salads
  • Mash cauliflower like potatoes
  • Bring a banana to the gym for on your drive home
  • Dive into snap peas and hummus as a snack 
  • Take your family to the farmers market or a local farm for a day trip
  • Plant a garden

 

 

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About the Author

 
  • Mary Mack's picture
    Mary Mack is a contributor to the Twin Cities Edition of Faith & Fitness Magazine. She is a personal trainer, fitness model and writer living in St. Paul, Minnesota. In her blog here she shares about her faith in God and her personal journey in fitness. When she's not lifting or writing Mary likes to garden, camp, knit and hang out with her family.

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