Q & A Library
Choosing Foods by Color?
I've heard that we should have a mix of foods of various colors on our plates. Can you give me an idea of the specific benefits of the different colors? How many fruits and vegetables do you recommend per meal?
Answer (Published 11/23/2012)
Originally published June 10, 2005. Updated November 23, 2012.
The vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables aren’t just visually appealing; they are also indicators of abundant protective nutrients. You’ll likely have a healthier diet if you use color as your guide in choosing fruits and vegetables. And while there’s nothing wrong with eating a lot of green vegetables, research has suggested that the wider the variety of natural colors you have on your plate or in your daily diet, the better your nutritional needs will be met.
Fresh produce forms the base of the pyramid of my anti-inflammatory diet. If you follow this eating plan, you’ll get plenty of vegetables – four to five servings per day, both raw and cooked, from all parts of the color spectrum. I also recommend three to four daily servings of fruit, fresh when in season or frozen at other times of the year. When possible, make sure that the fruits and vegetables in your diet are organically grown.
Here’s a rundown on specific food colors and how they benefit your health:
To learn more about this subject I recommend reading What Color Is Your Diet? by David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., available in paperback from HarperCollins.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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