Unicorn (Colourful) Foods Are All The Rage – Here’s Why!
It’s no secret that eating colourful foods (and no, Skittles don’t count) can help you properly fuel your body and keep you feeling your best. Not to mention the added benefit of getting the proper intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals necessary for optimal wellbeing.
So how exactly do the different hues tie into your overall health? Read on to learn more.
Behind the colour: Foods with an intense blue or purple hue are packed with anthocyanins which can protect against cancer, memory loss, high blood pressure and much more. Not sure if it’s ready to eat? Pay attention to the richness of the colour, which is the best indicator of ripeness.
Try grilled eggplant, fresh figs with yogurt and granola, or get fancy and make a dreamy blue majik smoothie bowl. Steamed purple potatoes, red cabbage or plums, and blueberries are also great choices.
Behind the colour: Green fruits and veggies get their signature pigment from a high concentration of chlorophyll, and are an incredible source of vitamin A and K, as well as calcium for those who are vegan or can’t tolerate dairy. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussel sprouts are known to help the body detoxify extra estrogen as well as having anti-cancer effects, while the potassium in greens helps with lowering blood pressure.
If you aren’t getting your daily intake of greens, try adding some spirulina to your morning smoothie, snack on some cucumbers with hummus, or grab a green apple to go. Zucchini, bok choy, kale, and asparagus are also great choices, as well as fresh herbs and green fruits.
Behind the colour: Though green veggies have long been promoted as the standard good-for-you food, black foods pack a nutritional punch too. Dark coloured fruits, veggies, and grains are bursting with anthocyanins, which are pigments that may help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Want to experiment with more black foods in your diet? Try swapping your white or brown rice for black rice, sprinkle some black sesame seeds onto your salad, or try some black garlic which contains twice the antioxidants of regular garlic!
Charcoal black lemonade is also a wonderfully detoxifying drink. The activated charcoal acts like a magnet, binding to toxins in the body and flushing them out.
Behind the colour: Want a glowing and clear complexion? Consider adding more yellow and orange coloured foods to your diet to make you glow from the inside out! Orange and yellow fruit and veg are high in vitamin C which keeps your immune system strong and promotes collagen. The high levels of beta-carotene, which gives these foods their bright colour, helps to protect skin from sun damage as well.
Pick up some golden beets next time you’re shopping for produce, roast up some sweet potato wedges as a part of your weekly meal prep, or try making golden milk with turmeric and cinnamon. Pro tip: Add turmeric to your smoothies, salad dressings and protein balls (a little goes a long way!).
Behind the colour: One amazing thing behind red foods is their high levels of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that is known to promote prostate and heart health.
Choose from beets, tomatoes or make your own trail mix with nuts and goji berries. A handful of cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranate works too. The best part? A glass of red wine counts as well!
Behind the colour: We usually think of white foods as refined, bland, and are told to stay away from them. While this is generally true, nature has provided us with beautiful unrefined white foods which are high in the flavonoid quercetin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and cardiovascular health benefits.
Cauliflower, mushrooms, and potatoes all fall into this category, and certainly, have more nutrients than a doughnut. Try a white bean dip, use a banana as your sweetener when baking, or opt for chickpeas as a plant-based source of protein.
Danica is a holistic nutritionist, wellness expert and health coach on a mission to help women around the world find their optimal well-being. She is the founder of Nakd Health, where she coaches clients to prioritize wellness in their busy lives with delicious recipes, nutrition advice, fitness and lifestyle changes.