Authored by Revere Health

Why You Need More Colors On Your Plate

September 14, 2016 | Gastroenterology

Thanksgiving Food Safety

Our busy lives often mean that we don’t eat as well as we’d like to. Ninety-one percent of U.S. adults don’t eat as many vegetables each day as they should. One way to ensure that you are getting enough vegetables, and that you are getting the full range of nutrition, is to aim for more colors on your plate. Looking at your plate to ensure it’s full of colors is an easy shortcut that lets you see that you are getting a wide range of vitamins, minerals and healthy antioxidants.

Benefits of Colorful Foods

Fruits and vegetables often get their colors from the nutrients they have inside. Because these foods are generally low in fat and calories and provide complex carbohydrates that can give you energy and fiber that makes you feel full, they should have a starring role on your plate at every meal. A few of the benefits of each color of food:

White fruits and vegetables provide dietary fiber. Fiber helps protect against high LDL cholesterol levels, which, in turn, protects heart health. 

Red foods include tomatoes, watermelon, cherries, beets and peppers. These are foods that are likely to be rich in the antioxidants anthocyanin and lycopene, which are valuable for heart health.

Orange and yellow foods get their hue from beta carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital to good bones and healthy skin. 

Green vegetables provide vitamins C, K and E, which can all help support the immune system, healthy eyes and bones and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

 Blue and purple fruits and vegetables get their color from anthocyanins. Blue foods like blueberries have compounds that act as anti-inflammatories, reducing the risk of disease in your esophagus and colon.

Tricks to Get More Color on Your Plate

It’s not always easy to introduce new foods to your diet. If you are not sure how to make a more colorful plate, try some of the tips below: 

  • 1. In recipes that call for potatoes, ask whether sweet potatoes will work. Sweet potatoes have higher levels of fiber and vitamin A, letting you pack more nutritional punch into each meal. Swap out baked white potatoes for sweet potatoes or use sweet potatoes in your favorite soups and stews.
  • 2. Go with a colorful garnish. Diced red peppers, sliced green onions and other colorful foods are great sprinkled over a wide range of savory dishes.
  • 3. Choose unusual varieties when you see them. You can find golden cauliflower, purple broccoli, red carrots and more.
  • 4. Give vegetables a larger share of your plate. When you make a stir fry at home, include four or five vegetable ingredients and cut down on meat. 
  • 5. Eat fruit for dessert. If you like to end a meal with something sweet, try a bowl of berries or a tart made of fresh peaches.

Are you concerned with getting the nutrition you need to stay healthy? Talk to your doctor about whether counseling with a nutritionist is right for you.


Revere Health’s experienced gastroenterology professionals offer comprehensive prevention, diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your individual needs and goals.




The Live Better Team

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.