When planning a healthy diet, eating a rainbow of colorful foods is your best bet. A good rule-of-thumb when choosing healthy foods is to include those with the richest and deepest colors. Foods with intense colors tend to have higher levels of many nutrients and powerful antioxidants.
Here are a few examples (remember ROYGBIV from science class?):
- Red – foods rich in red pigments may lower blood pressure, scavenge harmful free-radicals and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Tomatoes, cherries, red wine
- Orange – consuming foods with orange color may reduce bad cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, promote healthy joints and boost collagen formation (think healthy skin here).
- Salmon, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges
- Yellow – eating yellow foods my boost HDL (good) cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol, normalize blood pressure and fight cancer-causing free radicals.
- Olive oil, bananas, yellow peppers
- Green – green foods may help reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, support vision, rev up your metabolism and boost immune system integrity.
- Green apples, spinach, edamame, green tea
- Blue, indigo and violet – foods with these deep and black colors may help protect brain cells against Alzheimer’s and other oxidative-related diseases, fight inflammation, improve calcium absorption and aid in weight loss.
- Blueberries, eggplant, black beans, blue cheese
Adding color to your diet not only improves its nutrient values and disease-fighting properties, it adds variety to your diet and encourages you to eat more fruits and veggies. That pot of gold at the end of the rainbow does exist — it’s called good health!