What is the Key to Eating in Color?

Eating a rainbow of vibrant colors is about consuming nature’s full spectrum of nutrients. Take a look around your farmers’ market or the produce aisle of your grocery store and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see a handful of lively colors ripe with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep your body happy.

The key to eating the rainbow for optimal health is to select a handful of new colorful fruits or vegetables each week. Make a list of the variety of colors (see our food color guide) and choose one new piece of produce from each color category every week. When you get to the store, purchase those items and use them throughout the week in your meals and snacks. You can serve many of the vegetables raw with hummus, salsa, or guacamole, or roast them with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. You can serve the fruits raw in fruit salads, parfaits with yogurt and granola, or roasted in the oven with maple syrup, water, and a pinch of sea salt.

Each week, your new produce list can help you think outside the box to make your meals exciting and delicious without added sugar. When you start to train your taste buds to appreciate whole foods by recognizing their natural sweetness, you’ll never want to go back to processed foods again. The key is to allow your taste buds to experience real, one-ingredient foods so you can enjoy food the way it is supposed to taste. Start by choosing one type of fruit or vegetable in each category, such as red cherries, purple eggplant, orange carrots, green spinach, and yellow bananas. Having these options at the ready allows you to get creative in your kitchen.

You can use the cherries and spinach for a salad with raw almonds, organic chicken, sea salt, pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil. The eggplant can be sliced thin and grilled over medium-high heat with coconut oil, sea salt, pepper, and chili powder until tender to serve as an appetizer with hummus and fresh parsley. Oranges are delicious to eat on their own, with yogurt, or as a snack with a tablespoon of almond butter and a pinch of cocoa powder for a boost of protein.

You can also use freshly squeezed orange juice in place of lemon juice in salad dressings, marinades, and any other dips or spreads you make at home, like guacamole. Bananas are a great breakfast option that pair well with almond butter and a pinch of sea salt. You can also add frozen bananas to smoothies to thicken them up and cool them down. Bananas add a naturally sweet touch to desserts, puddings, and oatmeal as well.

As a general rule, the darker hues of greens, blues, purples, and reds equate to more antioxidants in the foods. Focus on eating a rainbow of foods each day and you’ll start to see the benefits in your skin, your energy, and your overall vitality.

Each hue is a clue revealing key nutritional components. A vast array of fruits and vegetables make up each color group; experiment and have fun with choosing new produce each week!

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