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What Do You Mean “Eat the Rainbow?!”

Radiant health can be supported with a radiant plate!

Did you know the colors of fruits and vegetables indicate their nutrient content?  Nutrient concentration varies so eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and colors will give your body its most optimal boost!

🌈Take a look at the color guide below🌈

Red Two families of antioxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids, give red hues to things like cherries, strawberries, watermelon, red peppers, and tomatoes.  These antioxidants may help with heart health and more graceful aging.  Red produce may also improve brain function and lower the risk of some cancers.

Check out this recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes with Pesto and Orzo (you could easily substitute red peppers), and this Gingered Beet and Apple Salad.

Orange The antioxidant beta-carotene along with Vitamins A and C are present in orange produce like oranges, mangoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.  These nutrients help boost the immune system, protect your nervous system and eyesight, and keep skin healthy.

Try this recipe for Carrot and Sweet Potato Tzimmes or Maple Glazed Acorn Squash.

Yellow Yellow produce get their color in part from the carotenoids zeaxanthin (promotes eye health), and beta-cryptoxanthin (for healthy skin and immunity).  Vitamin C is also present and offers additional immune and skin support.  Lemons, yellow bell peppers, papaya, pineapple, and corn are all loaded with these nutrients.

You could try Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa or this Roasted Ratatouille which checks off many colorful boxes!

Green Things like kiwi, green apples and grapes, avocado, collard greens, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts have flavonols, beta-carotene, folic acid, and lutein.  Growing bodies of evidence suggest that these nutrients help support brain, heart, and eye health.

Maybe you’d like this recipe for Cucumber Salsa with Feta or Wakame-Sesame Salad with a Pickled Onion Garnish!

Blue, Indigo, and Violet Produce of this color packs a big antioxidant punch!  Anthocyanins are responsible for their coloring and have been linked to healthy aging and reduction in cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke biomarkers.  Eating foods like blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, figs, eggplant, and purple cabbage also help support urinary tract health and digestion.

Berry Yogurt Ice Pops are a refreshing treat, and check out this Hidden Spinach Berry Smoothie!  If you’re looking for something more savory, this Indian Braised Red Cabbage may be just the thing!

White Don’t forget your white vegetables, they are also nutrient powerhouses! Bananas, pears, mushrooms, potatoes, cauliflower, turnips, garlic, and onions have some medicinal uses and supply potassium and magnesium.  Studies have shown the nutrients in white fruits and vegetables minimize the risk of some cancers.

Try Wild Mushroom Couscous or this curried cauliflower Aloo Gobi.

Happy eating!



Sources: Kathy Downie, RDN “How to Eat the Rainbow,” (2016)

     Winneshiek Medical Center, “The Importance of a Colorful Diet,” (2020)