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Home / Diet & Nutrition / Eating Rainbows: How Colors In Food Show Health Benefits

Eating Rainbows: How Colors In Food Show Health Benefits


Eating healthy foods nowadays is challenging. For one, “bad foods” keep on popping out of nowhere. Well, not really, “nowhere”. But from fast food chains to be exact. As we all know it, fast food chains keep their food in pristine condition for market.

By “pristine” condition, it probably means dumping a lot of preservatives on them. This is to ensure a longer shelf life of their food. Bottom line: Fast foods are bad. Fast foods are addictive. They can be considered as junk foods that have little to no nutritional value.

But we all know that. Too bad most of us can’t resist the lure of those delicacies. However, this is mostly true especially when it comes to children. Those chips and the crackers seem to be a kid’s equivalent to fine dining. So how can we encourage the kids as well as ourselves to eat more healthily?

Colors Of An Edible Rainbow

Fact: People eat with their eyes. The overall presentation of food makes or breaks a person’s appetite. If you ever heard of food porn, then you know how true that is. However, the most important element in food that affects a person’s appetite is the color.

Don’t underestimate the power of colors in our food. Almost all of us love colors. Colors significantly affect our perception of food. Therefore, the saying of “eat the rainbow” is true(you might instantly think of Skittles, but no, I’m not talking about that rainbow) when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, do you want to know that other than affecting our perception, most fruits and vegetables are already telling us of their nutritional values through their colors. How?

Red: Antioxidizing Powers


Have you ever wondered by most fast food chains have the color red in their logos and establishments? This is because the color red is found to boost appetite. So instead of heading over to those red-logoed fast food chain, why not try red fruits and vegetables?

Other than enhancing your appetite, according to research, the color red makes people perceive food of that color sweeter. The mystery about why are you drawn to the reddest apple is solved.

Additionally, fruits and vegetable bearing the color red contain both the antioxidants anthocyanins and lycopene, but mostly lycopene.

Lycopene is responsible for giving red vegetables their color and functions as their antioxidant during photosynthesis. Lycopene helps protects the heart and blood vessels that reduce the risk of heart attacks. It also lowers the chance cancer formation in the lungs, breasts, bladder, ovaries, and colon.

Red Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, Strawberries, Cherries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Tomato, Beet, Bell Peppers, Chili Pepper, Radishes, Watermelon

Orange And Yellow: Regenerative Living


Both colors almost share a similar effect on people’s mood and behavior as well. Orange means the feelings of excitement, warmth and a refreshing energy. Yellow, on the other hand, signifies cheer and can promote metabolism. Both embody the color of fun, cheer, metabolism and joy.

Sharing the same group of vitamins and nutrients, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamins that are very important to children’s growth, body repair and the improvement of the immune system.

Vitamin A has many health benefits, but the most notable one that it is known to give is its ability to keep one’s vision healthy. Vitamin A also promotes skin health which helps prevent the development of acne and other skin conditions.

One of the many uses of Vitamin C is body repair. It is the one behind repairing, maintaining bones, teeth, and cartilage as well as healing wounds and enhances the immune system. Vitamin C is also an essential antioxidant that rids the body of free radicals that can cause cancer.

Orange/Yellow Fruits And Vegetables: Lemon, Mangoes, Pineapples, Cantaloupe, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Orange, Tangerine, Papaya, Peaches, Persimmons, Carrots, Sweet Corn, Rutabagas, Banana

Green: Soothing Health Protection


Green is the color of the environment. Other than symbolizing nature, green also associates with luck, calm, health, and serenity. When encountered, people immediately think of nature and its soothing effect which is why it is highly recommended for people under a lot of stress to be surrounded by the color.

Green vegetables and edible plants are rich in lutein as well as Vitamins K, C, A, and Folate. Vitamin C may share a few of what Vitamin K can do however, Vitamin K is more effective in maintaining bone health and healing in wounds. It wasn’t nicknamed as “the blood-clotting vitamin” for nothing. Furthermore, it fortifies heart health by preventing calcium hardening in the arteries.

Folate or Vitamin B9 is one of the B complex vitamins that are essential to everybody’s health, more especially to pregnant women. This is due to the fact that folate decreases the incidence of defects in babies. It also helps generate and maintain cell growth as well as the production and maintenance of red blood cells.

Green Fruits And Vegetables: Avocados, Kiwi, Green Peas, Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Leeks, Spinach, Zucchini

Blue And Violet: Invigorating Body


In contrast to the red-colored fast food logos, you might notice that big shot fast food chains don’t incorporate a lot of blue in their logos and establishments. This is because blue has the ability to suppress your appetite whereas red is revving it up.

Blue is known to have a calming and serene effect on people. On the downside, it also relates with sadness and aloofness. Additionally, it is found that non-blueberry, non-icing, non-candy blue colored foods such as steaks and burgers are hurl-inducing. This is due to the perception that such foods are unnatural and can mean that they are spoiled and bad.

Even though both red, blue, and violet fruits and vegetables share anthocyanins and lycopene, blue and violet share more of anthocyanins than red ones. Moreover, they also have flavonoids in abundance. Flavonoids are part of phytonutrients found in plants. They are linked to skin protection, brain function improvement, blood pressure and blood sugar regulation.

Anthocyanin is an antioxidant under the flavonoid family. It was discovered that blue and violet fruits and vegetables have a plethora of anthocyanin in them. This antioxidant enhances heart health and helps prevent the development of severe diabetes and obesity.

Blue And Violet Fruits And Vegetables: Blackberries, Blueberries, Black Currants, Grape, Elderberries, Plums, Raisins, Eggplant, Raisins

Get Healthy With Flying Colors!

A well-balanced diet is very important, especially in children since they need these nutrients in order to grow healthy. However, not being a kid anymore doesn’t mean that you will forego from eating your share of fruits and vegetables.

Knowing the effects of colors in our perception of food, the knowledge makes it easier to plan out ways on how to make ourselves eat fruits and vegetables. This way, you get to create new and creative techniques to make children eat their fruits and vegetables.

Addtional Sources:

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