acai bowl and fruit

How to Eat “Bright”

By Lisa, Registered Dietitian, Livea

Each color of fruit and vegetables provides a different benefit to our bodies, which is why it is so important to eat a variety of different colors and textures of produce throughout the week! Not only does fresh produce provide vitamins and minerals, they also contain various flavonoids, which provide the fruits and vegetables with their rich color and protect against disease. Plan to eat meals with each in-season fruit or vegetable! Here are the benefits of each color:

Red: Colored by Lycopene and Anthocyanin. These provide antioxidants to support the immune system and protect the heart.
Examples: red bell peppers, tomatoes, beets, radishes, raspberries, strawberries

Yellow/orange: Colored by carotenoids. Many of these vegetables contain vitamin A, which supports mucous membranes including eye health. They also supports the immune system.
Examples: carrots, pumpkin, squash, mango

Green: Contain Lutein and Indoles. They support the immune system and protect against some types of cancers. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which protects the body from some chronic diseases.
Examples: broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, kale, celery, zucchini, green beans, green peppers, spinach, etc.

White: Colored by anthoxanthins. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol!
Examples: cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, coconut

Blue/Purple: Colored by Anthocyanin. They contain antioxidants to protect against cell damage, reducing risk for cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Some foods in this category are also touted to protect memory as one ages.

Examples: eggplant, acai, blackberries, blueberries

Resources:
https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/what-color-is-your-food#section-3
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/how-plant-based-food-helps-fight-cancer/art-20457590
https://www.livestrong.com/article/73159-list-foods-flavonoids/