Many of us overlook one of the most important aspects of eating: colour!

On a scientific level, natural colours in foods indicate presence in phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are organic compounds found in plants. More and more research is suggesting that phytonutrients significantly promote human wealth and wellbeing. These compounds are responsible as such things as the deep green of kale and the smell of garlic.

While natural colours of food are aesthetically-pleasing to the eye, they are also connected to specific functions inside the body. Healthy colours are linked to lowered risks of obesity and chronic diseases.

Here are some examples: 

RED foods like tomatoes and watermelon contain the antioxidant, lycopene, shown to play a role in reducing the development of certain cancers and may play be important for warding off heart problems.

ORANGE foods like carrots are great sources of beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor. When we eat the orange beta-carotene pigment, it converts to vitamin A in the body. Eating orange fruits and vegetables can help our immune system and eyes to function better.

YELLOW/GREEN foods are packed with phytonutrients like lutein for eye health, chlorophyll to protect cells from damage, and folic acid, an essential nutrient for growth and development.

And, finally, BLUE/PURPLE foods are excellent sources of brain-protective antioxidants. Eating berries can keep the mind sharp and focused.

Here are some examples of what foods you can find said colours in: 

RED – Red apples, beets, red cabbage, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, red grapes, red peppers, pomegranates, red potatoes, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelonORANGE – Apricots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, grapefruit, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, persimmons, pumpkin, rutabagas, yellow summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, tangerinesYELLOW – Apple (Golden Delicious), Asian pears, bananas, bell peppers, corn, corn-on-the-cob, ginger root, lemon, pineapple, potatoes (Yukon), star fruit

GREEN – Green apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, cucumbers, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, lettuce, limes, green onions, peas, green peppers, spinach, zucchini, kale

BLUE-PURPLE – Purple kale, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, eggplant, purple grapes, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, marionberries, raisins, figs, plums

TAN-WHITE – Cauliflower, garlic, coconut, onions, pears, shallots

via our friends at CLEAN x

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