Eating the Rainbow

While you may be aware that health experts recommend eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, did you know that eating a colorful variety is proving to be equally as important? That’s because it is the mixture of antioxidants PLUS naturally-occurring phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that offer long-term health protection against disease!

“Eating the rainbow” also helps prevent food boredom (which can trigger binge eating); reduces sweet cravings and minimizes body fat storage. Read the Colourfood Chart below to see how many foods you can enjoy!

Colorful Fruits and Vegetables, Phytochemicals and Their Benefits:

Sources: The American Cancer Society, The National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Color: Yellow/Orange

  • Phytochemicals: Beta-carotene, bioflavonoids
  • Benefits: Boosts immune system; improves vision health; reduces risk of cancer and heart attacks; improves skin, bones, teeth; helps with ovulation regularity
  • Found in: Carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mangos, apricots, peaches, oranges, lemons, tangerines, papaya, nectarines, pineapple, yellow peppers Beta-carotene, bioflavonoids

Color: Red

  • Phytochemicals: Lycopene, capsanthin, anthocyanins
  • Benefits: Reduces risk of heart attack and diabetes; improves circulation and memory function; helps prevent breast, skin and prostate cancer; helps control high blood pressure
  • Found in: Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, beets, red apples (with skin), red grapes, red cabbage, red onion, radishes, red peppers, pomegranates

Color: White

  • Phytochemicals: Allicin, flavonols
  • Benefits: Boosts immune system; helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure; reduces the risk of heart attack; helps prevent cancer cells from spreading
  • Found in: garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, ginger, jicama, chives, mushrooms, apples, pears

Color: Green

  • Phytochemicals: Chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin, folate
  • Benefits: Helps reduce vision impairment and macular degeneration; supports strong bones and teeth; reduces the risk of cancer/tumor growth; improves joints and reduces inflammation; aids in digestive regularity Found in: Leafy greens, lettuces, and green vegetables such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, broccoli, peas, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, arugula, Swiss chard, watercress, kiwi, honeydew

Color: Blue/Purple

  • Phytochemicals: Anthocyanin, quercetin, phenolics
  • Benefits: Reduces the risk of cancer and heart attacks; improves longevity and protects against memory loss/cognitive dysfunction; improves joint movement and reduces inflammation; supports urinary tract health; helps reduce high blood pressure, prevents complications from diabetes
  • Found in: Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, prunes, plums, raisins, figs, purple kale, purple cabbage, eggplant