As part of the Eating by the Rainbow series, we are breaking down which colorful foods will maximize your health, and how!

Green Foods

The natural green pigment is called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can be powerful in helping to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness if untreated. Leafy greens and broccoli are excellent sources of folate, a B Vitamin that prevents birth defects.

  • Green apples
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Green grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Green onions
  • Peas
  • Green pepper
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini

Blue/Purple Foods

Are colored by natural pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. They also may reduce the risk for cancer, stroke, and heart disease.  More recently studies have suggested that eating more from this group can lead to healthy aging.

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Eggplant
  • Figs
  • Juneberries
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Purple grapes
  • Raisins

White Foods

The white plants are pigmented by anthoxanthins. Anthoxanthins may contain other chemicals such as allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Other members of this category are rich in the mineral potassium.

  • Bananas
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips

As you try to incorporate more color in your diet preserve those nutrients by

  • Limit peeling to preserve fiber content.
  • Steam, broil, microwave or cook in small amount of water.
  • Avoid boiling. Prolonged exposure to water and heat can break down chemicals unstable to high temperatures.

Serve foods promptly. The longer they stand, the more nutrients are lost