Why Is Color Variety Important in Your Salad?

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color variety of fruits and veggies, kids' healthWhether you’re making a salad or selecting fruit and veggies for a snack, be sure to choose a variety of colors. Different colors of fruit and vegetables help our immune systems in different ways.

Before you go down the color list, make sure to check out the latest 2014 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists, to know which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides and which don’t.

color variety is important

Check our “color chart’ to make sure you’re getting the best nutritional value from your fruit and vegetables.

Green Foods: broccoli, kale, leaf and romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kiwi fruit, avocado, cucumber, green apples, green pears, green grapes, green pepper, zucchini and more

– mainly good for our circulatory system; contain B-complex vitamin and many minerals. Some phytochemicals found in green foods are sulforaphane and indoles that are very powerful anti-cancer compounds.

Red Foods: tomato, watermelon, red cabbage, beets, cherry, cranberry, papaya, red apple, red bell pepper, red grapes, strawberry, grapefruit and more

– contain many phytochemicals that reduce free radical damage. The phytochemical called lycopene (giving red foods their red color) is especially helpful to prevent prostate problems, and reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin.

Pumpkins, color variety of fruits and veggiesOrange Foods: carrot, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, apricot, cantaloupe and more

– contain carotenoids the help prevent cancer by repairing the DNA; carrots, and other orange foods are especially good for our eyes, and help with night vision. The deep orange foods help our bodies get the vitamin A we need, without getting excess that can lead to osteoporosis.

Green/Yellow Foods: yellow corn, green peas, collard greens, avocado and honeydew melon

– this combination of green and yellow foods contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration; they are also helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Orange /Yellow Foods – oranges, pineapple, tangerines, peaches, papaya, nectarines

– orange and yellow foods are high in antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, and help to improve the health of the mucus membranes and connective tissue. They help prevent heart disease by improving circulation and preventing inflammation.

White/Green Foods: onions, garlic, celery, pears, chives

– a combination of white and green foods contains a variety of phytochemicals. Garlic and onions contain allicin, the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal phytochemical, and they can act as a poor man’s antibiotic. Add them to your meals to reduce the effects of potential toxicity of high-fat meats. Celery has many minerals, especially organic sodium, that keeps the fluid in the joints healthy.

Red/Blue/Purple Foods: red apples, beets, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes, concord grapes, blackberries

These dark colored red/blue/purple foods are very rich in powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that protect against heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots. They also have many anti-aging phytochemicals.

Get inspired by our healthy salad recipes!

healthy salad recipe, color variety of fruits and veggies

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