Color Your World with Fruits and Vegetables

Color Your World with Fruits and Vegetables

Eating a rainbow of colors every day is one of Dr. Bernard Jensen’s famous recommendations for keeping healthy. Every pigment provides a specific protection for plants. Research shows that humans receive similar benefits from eating colorful vegetables and fruit.


Red vegetables and fruit contain a variety of phytochemicals including lycopene. Foods rich in lycopene are known for their ability to fight heart disease and some cancers, such as prostate cancer. Lycopene-rich foods include: watermelon, pink grapefruit, tomatoes and tomato-based products (spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, tomato juice, and tomato soup), papaya and guava. Use a small amount of fat, such as olive oil, when cooking tomato-based products to help the body absorb lycopene.

Find your daily dose of reds in red apples, cherries, red grapes, raspberries, watermelon, beets, strawberries, red cabbage, red onion, radishes, red peppers, rhubarb, tomatoes, chili peppers, and red potatoes.

Menu ideas:

  • Tomato soup/gazpacho
  • Roasted red pepper soup
  • Whole grain pasta with tomato sauce
  • Nachos with salsa

Read more about lycopene and blood pressure

Orange & Yellow

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C in addition to the phytochemicals, carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Deep orange vegetables and fruit contain beta-carotene, a disease-fighting antioxidant. Beta-carotene is believed to play a role in reducing risk of cancer and heart disease, promoting good eyesight, boosting the immune system and slowing the aging process.

Include orange and yellow fruits and vegetables in your diet every day like yellow apples, apricots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapples, pumpkin, yellow peppers, and yellow raisins.

Menu ideas:


Green vegetables contain potent phytochemicals such as lutein and indoles. Leafy greens are rich in energizing and alkalizing chlorophyll. Go green every day with fruits and vegetables like avocados, green apples, asparagus, artichokes, Asian greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, cucumbers, green grapes, green beans, green cabbage, kiwi, spinach, leeks, limes, okra, pears, peas, and zucchini.

Lutein is a powerful antioxidant known for its ability to protect your eyes and maintain good vision. Green vegetables such as spinach, collards, kale, Romaine lettuce and other leafy greens, green peas, broccoli, as well as honeydew melon and kiwi fruit, pack a lutein punch.

Indoles are believed to play a role in protecting against some cancers, such as breast and prostate. Foods rich in indoles include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rutabaga, Swiss chard, turnips, and watercres.

Menu ideas:

Read more about the health benefits of kale

Blue & Purple

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins and phenolics that are powerful free radical fighters. These two antioxidants are believed to contribute towards reducing cancer and heart disease risk and slowing the aging process, in addition to having anti-inflammatory effects. The best sources of anthocyanins are beets, blackberries, black currants, blueberries, elderberries, and purple grapes. The best sources of phenolics are prunes, raisins, eggplant and fresh plums. Other sources include boysenberries, cherries, cranberries, purple asparagus, purple cabbage, purple peppers, and red grapes.

Menu ideas:

  • Oatmeal with frozen berries
  • Yogurt with berries
  • Beet salad
  • Blueberry smoothie
  • Beet and carrot pasta sauce
  • Chicken salad with red grapes
  • Cranberry juice

Whatever food ideas you come up with, always ask yourself, am I eating a rainbow?!

Image: Will Merydith

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