Be Strong Live Long

Eat by Color

September 2nd, 2013

Some sage advice came from my faithful nutrition by color. Have vibrant, colorful meals and get a balance of nutrients. This quick tip has made meal assembly and the journey to more nutritious meals a lot easier and fun. It's a method that has been easy to implement with the children and lets us escape studying foods to death and over-analyzing our eating.

We take in various phytochemicals which protect us when we eat fruits and vegetables. These work to boost our immune system and the colors are a fascinating way that nature goes about highlighting these beneficial nutrients--give them bright, attractive colors.

Choose foods that represent the colors of the rainbow. The USDA suggests paying particular attention to orange and red (5 1/2 cups per week) and dark green (1 1/2 cups per week) produce, both good sources of vitamin A and other important nutrients.

I simplify it by making certain that I get at least 4 colors per meal, have a fair amount of each color (meaning that parsley or green onion sprinkles as a garnish don't count), and a mix of these 6 color groups. See a few examples below:


· peppers

· tomatoes

· watermelon

· guava

· pink grapefruit

· raspberries

· strawberries

· cherries

· beets

· apple


· kale

· spinach

· lettuce

· broccoli

· celery

· boy choy

· chard

· mustard greens

· green beans

· arugula

· apple

· kiwi

· lime


· orange/tangerine

· pepper

· mango

· papaya

· cantaloupe

· pumpkin

· apricot

· sweet potato

· squash

· nectarine

· persimmon


· banana

· squash

· corn

· pepper

· lemon

· pineapple

· apple


· garlic

· onion

· cauliflower

· cabbage

· corn

· turnip

· mushroom

· potato


· blackberry

· blueberry

· eggplant

· grapes

· plum

Eat the colors of the rainbow and be well. Do this...

Don't do this....

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3 Responses to “Eat by Color”

  1. kamaaina808:

    You left out a big 'orange' - carrots!

  2. Ukuhead:

    The same USDA that gave us the food pyramid and encouraged us to load up on gluten? Hmmm?

  3. Bob:

    Following the color scheme in eating is one way to include variety in your meals. In addition to the foods listed, I would include two different types of winter squash--butternut for orange flesh, and acorn squash for yellowish flesh, also purple Irish potatoes and purple sweet potatoes (including the Okinawa type and the Stokes American type.) For still more purple, try purple beans, purple cabbage, and purple asparagus. Peppers, both hot and sweet, come in many colors, including red, yellow, orange, green, purple, and brown. Try both green and red pepper salsas.