When our youngest son was four or five he fell in love with bugs of all kinds. He could say very early on “I want to be an Entomologist”. He had some pretty sever issues with dyslexia, which magnified the importance of making learning fun and exciting for him. One of the Specialists we were working with praised the fact that we were home schooling which allowed for very personal one on one education for him. We really had to think outside the box and we focused our educational instruction around things he wanted to learn about. We immersed into the world of insects and arachnids. We were the proud owners of a very large tank of hissing cockroaches as well as a tarantula named Curley (just to name a few). No, this post is not about eating insects. What I wanted to point out was that in the insect world, the brighter the color often served as a warning sign to other insects of danger. Colors like yellow and black or red and black. Even poison dart frogs (not part of the insect family) have beautiful bright colors which signal danger.
This is not so in the food world. Our goal when choosing healthy foods to eat is to find the brightest variety of colors we can. I have always heard that the brighter the color, the more antioxidants, and the better it is for you. Along with this thought is the statement often quoted, “Eat the Rainbow” (which is totally not to be confused with the Skittles version of “taste the rainbow” ha!). I’ve said it myself many times. I try to live by that concept and use many different brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and the tastes are fabulous together. While I do want to be your greatest encourager in this area (even taste alone would force that issue), I decided to search out facts from others more qualified that I to prove the truth of this concept.
I typed in this question in the search bar: Do bright colors in foods have more nutrients?
There was a lot of great information on this topic, but I wanted to share just a short excerpt from one article, in case you needed a push in this direction. The link for the entire article is here:
“Kathy Hoy, EdD, RD, nutrition research manager for the PBH, says eating a variety of foods helps ensure the intake of an assortment of nutrients and other healthful substances in food, such as phytochemicals, noting that color can be a helpful guide for consumers. “Nutrients and phytochemicals appear to work synergistically, so maintaining a varied, colorful diet with healthful whole foods is a pragmatic approach to optimal nutrition.”
And since the average American is eating less than five servings per day of their peas, carrots, and cantaloupe, when it should be upward of seven to 13 servings for most adults, many consumers could be unknowingly missing out on a gold mine of disease prevention.1 It turns out that having clients count colors instead of calories may be an easier fix for not only weight control but overall wellness.”
I think I feel a song coming on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”….. you can listen if you want to, just click your heels together (or click the button below) and say…..There’s no place like home.