Health Advocate Blog

Brighten up your meals!

It is common knowledge that eating fruits and vegetables is good for your health. But did you know that you can get greater nutritional benefit by eating a variety of colors? The differences in color of fruits and vegetables are caused by nutrients that influence their pigmentation. Use these tips to help you brighten up your meals by incorporating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

  • Strive to eat as many colors as you can each day. Common colors of fruits and vegetables include blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, white and green.
  • Eat a multicolor salad. Salads are a great way to eat many colors at once. Try this flavorful and colorful Hawaiian Anuenue Salad!
  • Drink a smoothie. This is a great way to get multiple servings of fruits and vegetables at once. Try making a smoothie by blending three different colors–for example, a smoothie with spinach, pineapple and blueberries gets you green, yellow, and blue!
  • Double up. Cook two vegetables at once for additional flavor and diversity. Opt for broccoli and cauliflower; peas and carrots; peppers and onions; zucchini and eggplant; or spinach and tomatoes.
  • Make a loaded veggie soup. Soups are a great way to eat many vegetables. Try recipes like: VeggiestroneQuinoa Vegetable Soup,or Garden Vegetable Soup.
  • Mix your juices. Rather than drink a glass of just one type of fruit juice, try combinations such as orange, cranberry and pineapple; apple and red grape juice; or orange, pineapple and pomegranate juice. Make sure you use 100 percent fruit juice!
  • Try rainbow chard. A vegetable that is already multicolored? Yes, please! You can find it in yellow, orange, red, purple, green and white. Here’s a tasty recipe to guide you in cooking it: Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Basil
  • Stir fry veggies. Use one cup each of sliced red pepper and mushrooms, 2 cups of baby bok choy, ½ cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon garlic, ¼ cup soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Assemble a bright snack. Wash, cut and bag cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, carrots and celery as a vibrant pick-me-up.
  • Stock your fruit bowl. Keep many colors of fruit on hand like bananas, apples, pears, peaches and plums–they’re great for a quick snack and a bright, edible decoration!
  • Try rainbow carrots. This versatile vegetable also comes in different colors. If you’re looking for a delicious way to prepare them, try this recipe for Herb-Roasted Tri-Colored Carrots.
  • Make a tri-color fruit salad. A few examples you could try include: strawberries, blueberries and pineapple; honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon; or blueberries, mango and strawberries. For more fruit salad ideas, click here.

Have fun and get creative reaching for the fruit and vegetable rainbow!