Rainbow Foods

There is a reason why eating all of the colors in the rainbow is important. In plant foods, these colors (or pigments) hold major anti-inflammatory properties. Along with all the wonderful vitamins, minerals, and fiber you get from plant foods, these colorful phytochemicals help to seriously reduce inflammation and signs of early aging. So if you’re looking for another reason to add more fruits and veggies to your diet, read on…

Here are a few categories of pigments that create the rainbow of colors in our plant foods

Anthocyanins

These have a beautiful dark purple color and have been shown to help support healthy vision, act as an antimicrobial, reduce oxidative stress, and support healthy aging.

Found in

  • Blueberries
  • Black cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Eggplant
  • Red cabbage

Carotenoids

Carotenoids offer a range of colors from yellow to red. One of the most well-known carotenoids is beta-carotene, found in foods like carrots, which acts as a precursor to vitamin A in the body. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants – they also help to support cell differentiation, reduce risk of cancer, and support immunity.

Found in

  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Chlorophyll

This gives produce it’s vibrant green color. Green foods are typically an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential to proper blood clotting. Dark green is the pigment that is least represented in a typical American diet. Dark green vegetables tend to have a bitter flavor that Americans have only recently started embracing in produce through foods like kale and collard greens.

Found in

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

A variety of these colors not only helps to create a beautiful meal, but they are work hard to keep us healthy. Some people may find tracking the colors in their diet a more interesting way to consider their fruit and vegetable servings.

This is such a cool topic, so I might be following up with this post on some more info on rainbow foods!

Love,

Shauna