Diet by Color 3

How to get the most out of your diet with registered dietitian and Lose It! advisory board member Kristin Kirkpatrick

In the plant world, color and hue rule in terms of disease-fighting capability. Each color represents different benefits and the deeper the color, the more benefit there is. 

For example, red foods, like tomatoes, have lycopene which may play a role in helping to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. 

+ Tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, raspberries

Purple plants, like blueberries and eggplants, have anthocyanins, which have been found to help benefit the brain. 

+ Eggplant, blueberries, plums, beets

Green plants provide multiple benefits that improve health; two of my favorites—broccoli and kale—have high amounts of lutein and folate which can help enhance eye, brain and heart health.   

+ Broccoli, spinach, kale, green tea, avocado, celery, snap peas

Some orange foods, like sweet potatoes and carrots, are packed with vitamin A, and other orange foods, like oranges and nectarines, are loaded with vitamin C. 

+ Oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, orange peppers, peaches

White is the color of allicin, found in vegetables like cauliflower, white onions and garlic, which helps protect against heart disease. 

+ Cauliflower, bananas, white onions, garlic, parsnips

Black foods, like black beans, black rice and blackberries, are high in anthocyanin, a pigment that has been linked to reducing cancer cell proliferation. 

+ Black beans, blackberries

The point is, variety is key, and keeping a colorful plate will always serve you better than focusing on one simple color. 

“Each color represents different benefits and the deeper the color, the more benefit there is.”

Kristin Kirkpatrick, registered dietitian, is a nationally recognized nutrition expert practicing in Cleveland. She has more than 15 years of experience in the health management area. Kristin is also an award-winning dietitian, an author and an advisory board member for The Dr. Oz Show. She has also appeared on both NBC Nightly News and CNN Health. Kristin holds a masters in health promotion management from American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s in political science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Track your fruit and vegetable consumption with Lose It!—a personal, app-based weight loss program used by millions of people around the world. Founded in 2008, 72 percent of Lose It!’s users have achieved clinically significant weight loss according to a 2016 study with the National Institute of Health. Free and paid versions are available in Apple’s app store and Google Play store in the “Health and Fitness” category.