Colorful Recipes for Eating the Rainbow
We need to get 13 essential vitamins and 11 essential minerals from the foods we eat. How do we know we’re getting them all? Thankfully, nature makes it easy. To put it plainly, a variety of colors = a variety of nutrients. And lucky for us, our eyes find colorful foods more appealing, so home chefs and professional chefs alike should keep aiming to create a pretty plate. Here’s a rundown of the rainbow, the health benefits you’re reaping, and recipes to boost your health.
Red and Pink
The pigments: Carotenoids (lycopene), flavonoids (anthocyanins)
Health benefits: Lycopene, anthocyanins, and a dozen other red food compounds, may help reduce the risk for certain cancers and help protect the brain, heart, liver, and immune system.
Food sources: Apples, red beans, beets, red peppers, blood oranges, cranberries, cherries, pink grapefruit, grapes, red onion, plums, pomegranate, red potatoes, radishes, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, tomato, watermelon
MAKE IT AT HOME: Moroccan Quinoa, Beet, Carrot Salad
The pigments: Carotenoids, like beta-carotene
Health benefits: Our bodies convert carotenoids into vitamin A, which supports your immune system, eyes, and skin. This antioxidant also reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease.
MAKE IT AT HOME: Butternut Squash Spaghetti, Cauliflower Cream Sauce
The pigment: Chlorophyll
Health benefits: The compounds in green foods may protect the brain, heart and blood vessels, liver, and skin. One unique attribute of some green foods is that because they help the liver to work better, they can also assist with keeping hormones in balance.
Food sources: Green apples, artichoke, asparagus, avocado, green peppers, leafy greens, cabbages, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, cucumbers, edamame, green beans, peas, green tea, limes, okra, olives, pears, zucchini
MAKE IT AT HOME: Asparagus, Balsamic Tomatoes, Goat Cheese
The pigments: Carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and betalains (betaxanthines)
Health benefits: The carotenoids in found in yellow foods, like those in orange foods, support healthy eyes and skin and reduce our risk of chronic disease. They may also play a role in protecting our brain, heart, and blood vessels.
MAKE IT AT HOME: Grilled Corn, Scallion Ragout
Blue, Purple, and Black
The pigments: Flavonoids (anthocyanins) and Betalains (betains)
Health benefits: Blue, purple, and black foods contain compounds that may protect the heart and blood vessels. They also play a role in brain health, protecting it from damage and promoting healthy cognition and memory.
Food sources: Berries, red cabbage, purple carrots, purple cauliflower, eggplant, figs, grapes, purple kale, black olives, plums, purple potatoes, black and purple rice
MAKE IT AT HOME: Red Cabbage Slaw, Dried Cherries
White, Tan, and Brown
The pigments: Flavonoids (anthoxanthins)
Health benefits: This one may come as a surprise, but minimally processed, plant-based foods of these color are just as nutrient-dense as brightly colored foods. The compounds in white, tan, and brown foods play a role in fighting chronic disease and, like green foods, certain ones assist with liver and hormone health.
MAKE IT AT HOME: Chicken, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomato Cauliflower Risotto
At FLIK Hospitality Group we believe in great food, great service, and great people. Our wellness first approach ensures our food supports healthy and delicious choices, specially curated by our team of culinary experts and registered dietitians. At FLIK, we believe in seasonality in sourcing our ingredients and providing a customized approach to the culinary and hospitality needs of each client. Our dedication to providing quality hospitality service is unparalleled in the industry.
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