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Eating colorful has many health benefits!

rainbow plate

Mostly, colorful foods come from the fruit and vegetable categories. These groups contain many of the vitamins and antioxidants we need as well as phytonutrients. Along with maintaining good health, the phytonutrients in vegetables and fruits work together to protect against various diseases such as cancer, heart disease, vision loss, hypertension and many more. They are also responsible for the rich colors we admire in plants, as well as their distinctive tastes and aromas. 

In the last few years, health care practitioners have started recommending the idea of constructing “rainbow plates” at mealtime. This idea was developed to increase the variety of phytonutrients at each meal. Almost all studies show benefits from regularly eating colorful fruits and vegetables– and, there’s no downside. By getting a variety of color in your diet, you’re giving your body a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to benefit your health.

Here are some health benefits organized by color:

Red: has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant benefits. Some research associates it with heart health benefits, reducing sun-related skin damage and a lowered risk of certain cancers.

Orange-yellow: Also anti-inflammatory, antioxidant. Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables support eye health and lower cancer risk. Also, they are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium.

Green: means lots of heart-protective potassium and vitamin K, which aids the blood-clotting process. Green fruits and veggies also help to maintain vision health and strong bones and teeth. Dark green, leafy vegetables have the highest concentration of antioxidants and fiber.

Blue and purple: contain antioxidants that are believed to delay cellular aging and help by blocking the formation of blood clots. They are also important for the memory and protection of urinary tract health.

White: this group contains nutrients known to lower the level of bad cholesterol in your body as well as blood pressure. Additionally, they have a great immune-boosting effect on the body.

By increasing colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet, to about 4 ½ cups per day, you will also increase prevention of disease.  You’ll also move a step closer to improving your overall health.