Eating By Colors

Image of colorful foods

Strive for a dinner plate that looks like an artist’s palette.

The phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables give them their color. In general, the brighter the color, the more nutritious. For example, there are many more nutrients in spinach than there are in iceberg lettuce. So, when you eat, go for color!

Phytochemicals are found only in plant foods. They protect you against cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Each day, give your meals a “color check.”

Aim to include different colors on your plate each day—green, orange, purple, red, yellow… The more colorful your plate, the more phytochemicals you provide to your body.

Finding Phytochemicals

Foods Phytochemicals
Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips Isothiocyanates, indoles, and sulforaphanes
Carrots, dried apricots, sweet potatoes and other bright yellow or orange foods Carotenoids
Tomatoes Lycopene
Berries—all kinds of dark colored Ellagic acid and flavonoids
Red grapes, eggplant, red cabbage and other red and purple foods Anthocyanins
Soy foods—tofu, tempeh, soybeans* Isoflavones

* Flaxseeds, soybeans and other oilseeds may be rich sources of omega-3s, but they may also have phytoestrogens that may interfere with some forms of cancer treatment if you eat high amounts. Therefore, eat these foods in moderation until more is known—no more than 3 servings per day.