Consuming fruits and vegetables that vary in color directly impacts different areas of your health. According to Coach Darrell Green, owner and master trainer of Grind Hard, preparing your plate with a rainbow of foods will help you be the healthiest version of yourself.
“When it comes to your selection of foods," he said, "colors are important [for] making sure you [get] all of your nutrients.” If you're looking to improve your health, eating more diverse fruits and vegetables is a great place to start.
Red Fruits and Vegetables
"Red fruits are high in lycopene, which eliminates free radicals that damage genes," Green said.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives red fruits and vegetables their color. Some benefits of lycopene include protection from the sun, improving heart health, and lowering the risk of certain cancers. Other phytochemicals within red fruits and vegetables support eye health and improve skin appearance. Red fruits and vegetables also protect your heart from diseases and reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.
Some red faves: tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, red cabbage, beets, red peppers
Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
"Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables provide beta-cryptoxanthin," Green said, "which may help prevent heart disease."
Fruits and vegetables that are yellow and orange appear this way because of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. The body converts these into vitamin A which supports immune function. "Yellow fruits and vegetables are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eys," Green said.
Some orange and yellow faves: carrots, oranges, mango, sweet potatoes, lemons, apricots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, sweet corn, yellow pepper, peaches, pineapples