Color seems to make everything better, doesn’t it? A pop of color can brighten up a room, complete an outfit or make your meal more appealing – especially for kids.
While the benefits may seem simply visual, when it comes to your dinner plate, adding color is doing more than making it a feast for the eyes.
The colors in fruits and vegetables come from their naturally occurring nutrients. They play many roles, but in general they function as a defense mechanism to help plants survive and reproduce.
Why do colors matter?
For humans, a diet rich in those plant nutrients has several health benefits.
“That’s why we think diets rich in plant foods provide people with a high degree of benefits,” said Dr. Keith Randolph, a fellow with Amway Global Discovery.
Those plant nutrients are called phytonutrients, and they have names like quercetin, proanthocyanidins and isothiocyanate, each of which provides different types of support for different systems in our bodies.
But don’t worry, there is no need for you or your kids to remember all these complicated tongue twisters. All you have to do is think about all the colors of the rainbow.
Red foods: Colors and their benefits (red peppers, tomatoes, cherries)
What does red do for you? The nutrients that give red fruits and vegetables their rich red color support your heart health and eye health and protect against cell-damaging free radicals.
How do you get them? Look for red when you are in the produce section: beets, red peppers, tomatoes, radishes, apples and cherries. Or, if it’s the right season where you live, take your family cherry picking.
Showing your kids exactly where their food comes from and involving them in the picking process will encourage them to—literally—enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Orange and yellow foods: Colors and their benefits (oranges, lemons, peaches)
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables provide support for your immune system, eye health and skin health. An orange, for example, has more than 170 different plant nutrients providing a variety of health benefits. And let’s not forget that vitamin C content!
Fresh squeezed lemonade, fruit salad, smoothies and grilled peaches are all great ways of including this essential color into your diet.
Green foods: Colors and their benefits (spinach, broccoli, avocado)
A diet rich in leafy greens is believed to provide a host of benefits, including many that support your heart health.
Green vegetables and fruits are also rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K. And the plant nutrients that give them their green color support arterial function and cell, lung and vision health.
Leafy green salads, sauteed veggies, green smoothies or avocado toast are all good ways of getting some of these into your system. If your kids are not into green food, consider finding ways to sneak them in without their knowledge!
Purple and blue foods: Colors and their benefits (plums, blueberries, purple kale)
Purple- and blue-hued fruits help support our brain and heart health. Plus, they contain a large quantity of antioxidants, which provide several health benefits by helping your body fight free radicals.
It’s a color not many people get enough of, so do your best to search it out in the produce section. Carrots, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and sweet potatoes all have purple varieties when it comes to veggies.
And blueberry season offers another reason to get the family out for a group activity. They also are a great addition to any smoothie.
White: Colors and their benefits (bananas, potato, cauliflower)
The brighter colors of the rainbow tend to get all the publicity, but the variety of produce that falls into the pale or white category is pretty expansive: Bananas (after you peel them), cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, shallots, turnips, white corn, white peaches and more.
All those white fruits and vegetables provide benefits for your bones and help support your circulatory health and arterial function.
Whether it’s pretending you are a monkey with a banana, or playing hot potato with your baked potatoes, there are plenty of ways to make eating these colors fun!
A rainbow of benefits
A good diet is a varied diet—meaning we should strive to feed our families fruits and vegetables from all the color groups on a regular basis. The colors come in all different shapes, sizes and tastes, so don’t be afraid to try new things with your family.
But nobody is perfect, especially where kids and vitamins are concerned. That’s when you might want to consider supplements to help fill any nutritional gaps. Nutrilite™ makes colorful, plant-based supplements and snacks made from plants grown on our own farms and partner farms.
The Nutrilite Kids Superfood Smoothie, for example, has eight fruit and vegetable purees with plant nutrients from five color groups. And it’s in a format kids will actually eat!
When all the nutrients your kids need are in these fun-colored alternatives, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you win every single food battle.
Want to learn more about Nutrilite products for kids? Click on the links below. And for more tips and tricks on healthy eating, check out more blogs on Amway Connections.
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