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What Do The Colors in Fruits And Vegetables Mean?

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rainbow veggiesAs trends go in regards to our children’s nutrition, the recent enthusiasm about the use of colorful fruits and veggies has been one that I personally thought was cute, but not really based in anything scientific. However, after I finally decided to debunk it for myself, I discovered that I was way off base. It turns out, the colors of our fruits and veggies are a very important indicator of the kinds of nutrition that they provide.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to get those colors and the nutrients they indicate organized so we could make better sense of what choices we are making when we choose colorful foods for our kids. Here’s an easy list of a few healthful foods by color, together with what their color means about the nutrients they provide.

RED: Eat this color to protect your heart, lungs, and blood.

Tomatoes contain Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.
Strawberries contain Folate and Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Manganese.
Peppers contain Thiamin, Niacin, Folate, Magnesium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.
Radishes contain Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate and Potassium.
Watermelon contains Potassium,  Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

ORANGE: Eat this color to fight depression, and protect our eyes.

Oranges contain Thiamin, Folate and Potassium, Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.
Peaches contain Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Niacin and Potassium, Vitamin C.
Carrots contain Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium.
Sweet Potatoes contain Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese.
Apricots contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Copper, Dietary Fiber and Potassium.

YELLOW:Eat this color to boost resistance to skin cancer, and keeps us hydrated.

Bananas contain Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese  and Vitamin B6.
Lemons contain Folate, Potassium and Vitamin C.
Pineapples contain Dietary Fiber, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Copper, Vitamin C and Manganese
Squash contains Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Copper, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
Yellow Cauliflower contains Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese.

GREEN: Eat this color to fight aging, and boost fat burning.

Lettuce contains Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese.
Broccoli contains Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.
Artichokes contain Niacin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese.
Green Beans contain Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese.
Kiwifruit contains Dietary Fiber, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Potassium, Copper, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.

BLUE: Eat this color to protect yourself against cancer, and boost your immune system.

Blueberriescontain Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.
Blue Potatoes contain Vitamin C, Dietary Fiber, Iron, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.
Plums contain Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C.
Eggplants contain Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, and Dietary Fiber.
Figs contain Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Omega-6 fatty acids, and Protien.

PURPLE:Eat this color to boost your brain power, and control your appetite.

Purple Onions contain Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Folate, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese  and Vitamin C.
Beets contain Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.
Purple Cabbage contains Thiamin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese.
Kohlrabi contains Thiamin, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Purple Asparagus contains Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese and Selenium.

Now, this post is focused only on fruits and vegetables, and it doesn’t cover meat, dairy, or white, black, and brown; but be assured that those foods have important nutrients too. I just wanted to give you all some ideas about where to start, and information about why colorful foods are important. Now you know how great it is to bring a kaleidoscope of nutrition to the table!

-Naomi Tripi

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