Real Happy Meals Are Colorful

“Eat the rainbow.”

Remind you slightly of a Skittle’s commercial? This twist on the phrase lives through another translation: Eating a variety of naturally colorful fruits & veggies.

So, how does color affect our food and how do we know what nutrients we're getting?

First, we have to recognize two things about selecting produce...

1. Looking pretty sells

To get the goods to market, a major quantity of produce is prematurely harvested, then artificially ripened through chemical processes. This means that the final product is incredibly deficient in nutrients that it would naturally receive as it ripened at the source. And, we are ingesting chemical leftovers from the transportation/ripening processes. 

2. Looks ain't everything

Many foods that look colorful and ready to bite into, can actually be artificially dyed. These artificial dyes can have serious effects like weighing down our digestive abilities, throwing off our hormones, and draining our energy & mood. Dyes are most often found in heavily processed foods and fruit juices, but it is still necessary to consider as some produce is chemically dyed to look more appealing. 

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Looking for raw colors is a great place to start. Have fun with it! Being open to trying new flavors, recipes, and preparing colorful meals is next. Know that the more variety of nutrients you consume regularly, the healthier and stronger your body (& mind) will grow. 

 Get to know your nutrients by starting with something you want to improve- 

If you’re feeling low on energy, you may try adding more blues to your diet. (Blues solve blues…)  

If you suffer from joint stiffness or inflammation, you may try more greens for circulation improvement and pain relief. (Greens support life function)

If you want brighter skin, try adding bright oranges & yellows to cleanse and fortify your outer glow! (Bright vitamins = happy skin & hair)

 

Now, try the rainbow:

White 

Nutrients: Beta-glucans, flavonoids, lignans

Benefits: Activates natural immune cells & balances hormones 

Produce: Bananas, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, some legumes & nuts 

 

Yellow

Nutrients: Beta-cryptothanxin, carotenoids

Benefits: Supports cell communication, reduces heart disease and risk of degenerative disease 

Produce:  Pineapple, peppers, lemons, squash, pears, mango

 

Orange

Nutrients: Beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin c, flavonoids, lycopene, vitamin a

Benefits: Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, supports vision health, promotes collagen formation, fights free radicals and damage, provides joint support, and repairs DNA 

Produce: Carrots, cantaloupe, peaches, pumpkin, oranges, sweet potatoes

 

Red

Nutrients: lycopene, ellagic acid, vitamin c, hesperidin, quercetin 

Benefits: Reduces risk of prostate cancer, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces tumor growth, fights free radicals, supports joint tissue, and boosts immune system  

Produce: Tomatoes, cranberries, pink grapefruit, beets, watermelon, strawberries, apples, pomegranate 

 

Green 

Nutrients: Chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, magnesium, calcium, vitamin c, vitamin k, folate, and beta-carotene 

Benefits: Promotes overall bodily functions, aids in digestion, detoxes the live, provides inflammation relief, supports vision health, cell turnover, and immune system

Produce: Avocado, pistachios, kiwi, leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas  

 

Blue/Purple

Nutrients: Multiple phytochemicals (powerhouse antioxidants)

Benefits: Reduces risk of cancer and disease, improves memory, stimulates cell communication and circulation, contains anti-aging properties, and supports mood balance

Produce:  Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, plums, figs, grapes, purple cabbage & potatoes