Each color in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun’s harmful rays, and other threats.
Below is a breakdown of each color’s specific nutrients.
Red: These fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, including lycopene and ellagic acid. These powerful nutrients have been studied for their cancer-fighting effects and antioxidant that supports heart health.
Orange/Yellow: These fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth.
Green: Green fruits and vegetables are rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K – essential for blood and bone health. In addition, green vegetables are rich in folate – a nutrient especially important for pregnant women to consume to help prevent congenital disabilities.
Blue/Purple: The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
White/Brown: White and brown fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic), which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are also a good source of potassium.