Q: Numerous Stump the Staff answers cite the importance of fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet.  A client asked the follow up question; “Does the color of the fruit or vegetables impact its health benefits?”

A: Fruit and vegetables are always a great choice to improve your diet.  The color of the fruit or vegetable is important because the color helps determine its nutritional content.  There are several public service campaigns that promote this idea and have phrases such as:

  • Eat the Rainbow
  • Five a Day the Color Way
  • Eat from the Color Wheel

As part of a healthy diet, you should try to get some of each color every day.  Below are the common colors, choices, and the benefits of the particular color.

Red: Beets, Cherries, Cranberries, Pink Grapefruit, Radishes, Red Apples, Red Bell Peppers and Red Chili Peppers
Benefits: Rich in the antioxidants, reduces risk of prostate cancer, lowers blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol levels

Orange/Yellow: Apricots, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Lemons, Oranges, and Rutabagas
Benefits: High in Beta-Carotene, Potassium, and Vitamin C, reduce age-related macula degeneration, prostate cancer, and promote collagen formation and healthy joints

Green: Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Green Apples, Green Beans, Green Cabbage and Green Grapes
Benefits: High in Chlorophyll, Fiber and Calcium, reduce risk of cancers, normalize digestion time, and boost immune system

Blue/Purple: Blackberries, Blueberries, Plums, Purple Cabbage, and Raisins
Benefits: Rich in the antioxidants, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, and fight inflammation

The following websites were used in answering the question: