Color-Coded Guide to Eating

February 3, 2015

Foods come in every color of the rainbow—from fruits and vegetables to grains, spices and more—making for a striking, visual display. These colors may be pretty, but during the winter months and gloomy weather, they’re also sure to brighten your mood! 

Next time you’re feeling down and wishing it was summer, take a warm-weather adventure through your meal by grabbing those ingredients that add a pop of color. We can’t get enough of these colorful recipes and their potential health benefits:

Red: Tomatoes, Strawberries, Apples & Raspberries

Naturally red foods like strawberries and apples contain lycopene, which may reduce cancer risks[1].Italian Tomatoes with Herbed Cheese

Orange: Oranges, Carrots & Pumpkin

Orange foods such as oranges and carrots contain alpha and beta-carotenes that help improve cell communication throughout the body. Some orange foods like oranges contain Vitamin C, which helps with cell protection[1].Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Yellow: Peppers, Lemons, Corn & Bananas

Yellow foods like corn or bananas contain carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for eye health[1].Lemon Greek Yogurt

Green: Broccoli, Spinach, Sugar Snap Peas & Edamame

Chlorophyll gives green fruits and vegetables their color. Some of these fruits and vegetables also contain indoles, which may lower your risk for cancer, and lutein, which helps prevent problems with your vision[3].Chicken,Broccoli Cheddar Calzone

Blue: Blueberries

Blueberry yogurt parfaitThe rich color of blueberries is actually one sign that the food is ripe and ready to eat. Blueberries are considered to have the highest antioxidant activity of all foods[2].

  • Blueberries are amazingly versatile! Toss Dole’s frozen Wild Blueberries into a smoothie, top a yogurt parfait with them or eat all by themselves as an afternoon snack.

Purple: Eggplant & Grapes

Purple foods including grapes and eggplant contain anthocyanins that increase blood flow and improve the functions of the kidneys and eyes[1].
Eggplant and Quinoa Burritos

White: Potatoes, Garlic & Onions

White foods like onions and garlic act as antioxidants and protect the cell membrane[1].Red Potatoes with Portabella Mushrooms, Green Beans & Onions

Black: Black Beans, Black Tea and Blackberries

Black is the new green with all of the benefits of some black foods. In fact, black foods have more antioxidants than light-colored foods because of their high pigment content[4].Black Bean Salad

  • Mix veggies, spices and cheese for a crowd-pleasing Black Bean Texican Salad that can be customized to fit any meal occasion—chip dip, salad entrée or side dish.


How do you take color into account when making meals? Let us know your favorite color food group in the comments below.



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