Can Colors Help Your Health? Absolutely!
Spring has sprung! Spring is the perfect time to take a look at the color on your plate as well. Adding more pigment to your plate increases the variety of foods you eat and the nutrients your body receives, including antioxidants.
Antioxidants are a group of naturally occurring compounds found in plant based foods that can provide positive health benefits. These compounds can provide protection against cancer and support many of our body’s functions.
Common Antioxidants in Colorful Plant Based Foods
You will find lycopene in red fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit, red peppers, and watermelon. Lycopene promotes heart health and has shown to be protective against certain cancers.
Most green foods such as spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and kale contain lutein. This can be found in the macula of the eye. It promotes eye health, heart health, and can also be protective from cancer.
You can find this phytonutrient in your blue and purple foods. Examples include, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, red onion, and radishes. Anthocyanins promote vascular health and can be helpful in blood pressure regulation.
Foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, and cantaloupe contain beta-carotene. This helps support your immune system as well as eye, skin, and bone health.
Adding color to your plate is an easy way to get important nutrients that support the different systems in your body. It also promotes healthy meals that are more appealing and fun to eat. So remember to fill your half your plate with colorful plant based foods, and enjoy the benefits!
To learn more about how you can begin to add more plant based foods to your diet, please visit our Nutrition Education Services.
Mary Cate is a dietitian with CHI Health Weight Management. Her love of food and nutrition stems from many years of playing sports and growing up in a family that loves to cook. Her goal is to help people learn that nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and that it should be an enjoyable part of our lives.