So here is a fun fact for you that you may not have known. The color of a vegetable or fruit is an indicator of the kinds of nutrients you will find within that delectable morsel.
Wait a minute Ferret … are you telling me that nature is so smart it can actually sort its nutrient content into color categories making it easier for us as humans to identify nutrients so we can make certain we get enough and the rights kinds?
Close enough. It is more directly related to the science behind the chemical makeup of the specific nutrients and the light they reflect. I could provide you with the science of it, but it might be a bit much to swallow (pun intended.) If you are curious as to how nutrient content can determine a fruit or vegetables coloration, I urge you to do some independent research.
But I digress. With this knowledge, we can determine that it is in our best interest to more or less “Taste the Rainbow” (thank you skittles, you did something right.) By doing so, we ensure that our body is going to get all the nutrients plant based foods have to offer.
So let’s look at the categories and some of the nutrition / fruits and vegetables that fall into each.
Let’s start with the darker part of the spectrum. That’s right, I’m talkin bout those Red’s, Purples, and Blues baby.
Red, Purple, and Blue
Within these puppies you can find anthocyanin and lycopene (found in the reds.) Known to have antioxidant properties, these can help combat free radicals in your system as well as have some cancer immunological responses. You can also find potassium, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C inside.
Some examples of these include: Apples, Beets, Blueberries, and Eggplant.
White or Tan
White fruits and vegetables contain a compound called anthoxanthin which also have antioxidant properties. You can find potassium, niacin, folate, riboflavin, and vitamin C hiding inside!
Some examples: Bananas, Dates, Garlic, and Mushrooms.
Orange and Yellow
These colors yield unto you carotenoids which along with being good for your body and its production of some vitamins can also have a positive immune system response (No wonder they tell you to eat oranges when fighting a cold!) As well, they contain vitamin C, potassium, folate, and bromium.
Some examples for your dining pleasure: Cantaloupe, Oranges, Pumpkin, Yellow Peppers.
Perhaps my favorite of the vegetable and fruit world are the greens. You can find vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and a whole heap of iron as well as lutein and indoles that like other antioxidants have many beneficial effects for your body as a whole.
Examples include: Kiwi, Avocado, Spinach, and Broccoli.
So remember everybody. There are a ton of vegetables and fruit out there, all of different colors. It is in your best interest to follow the slogan set forth by the Skittles Company and “taste the rainbow.” Your body will thank you, and if you don’t like one of a given color, try another!