Eating all the colors of the rainbow: a list of foods, their colors and their benefits
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I’ve heard the benefits of getting a varied diet and of eating foods from all the colors of the rainbow. I put together information about each color and a list of foods of each color for my own purposes, but thought it might help you too.
The information for the colors applies to light, clothing, etc. as well as food, for everything except vitamins & other nutritional information. Obviously wearing a red shirt isn’t going to get you any lycopenes, but it is definitely stimulating and exciting!
Red, the most physical and sensual of the colors, vibrates the most slowly and has the longest wavelength in the visible spectrum. Red is stimulating, hot (yang), and exciting; it is associated with vitality, strength, passion and willpower.
Red stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. It can be used to treat anemia, colds, low blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, weakness and depression. It helps one feel present and grounded. Use red when feeling run down, to improve athletic performance, and when quick energy bursts are required. A study done on athletes at the University of Texas indicated that viewing red light increased strength by 13.5 percent and produced 5.8 percent more electrical muscle activity.
When red is present in food, it often denotes ripeness or sweetness, as well as the presence of lycopenes, quercetin, and Vitamin C. Because red is so energizing, it should be avoided in decorating eating areas, as it makes diners feel hurried. In packaging, however, red is attention getting and highly visible, so you'll find it often on supermarket shelves
May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. May reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and complications from diabetes. May help control high blood pressure and slow some effects of aging.
Red is an energetic frequency found to stimulate physicality. Red fruits and vegetables promote health of the adreanals, gonads, colon, legs and red blood cells. Red fruits and vegetables also contain powerful phyto-chemicals such as lycopene and anthocyanins which are essential for the circulatory system.
Orange is the blending of red (physical action) with yellow (wisdom). It symbolizes enthusiasm, outgoingness, optimism, confidence, joyfulness, and courage.
Orange can lift spirits, foster humor, and loosen repression. Orange is associated with the sexual center, skin, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and bronchial tubes. Use orange to help relieve asthma, bronchitis, constipation, diarrhea, gas, hemorrhoids, and hypoglycemia.
In plant foods, orange is often an indicator of high carotene content. Being a social color, orange is useful for decorative highlights in places where people gather, such as family rooms. Fast-food restaurants use orange to attract lots of people without encouraging them to linger.
May reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Helps maintain good vision and strengthens the immune system. May strengthen bones and teeth, help the body heal wounds, keep skin healthy and maintain eyesight.
Orange is the color of passion, optimism and tolerance. Orange colored fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and cartenoids. Orange fruits and vegetables are vital for maintaining healthy reproductive and neuro/endocrine systems.
Orange Marigold Flowers
Yellow is warm (yang) and is associated with things sunny, cheerful, joyous, optimistic, practical, confident, and illuminating. It is also associated with wisdom, knowledge, logic and the mind.
Yellow is used to benefit the adrenal glands, gallbladder, liver, muscles, nervous system, pancreas, and stomach. Illnesses that can be treated with yellow are allergies, arthritis, asthma, constipation, coughs, depression, diabetes, eczema, gallstones, gas, hiatal hernia, hypothyroidism, indigestion, lymphatic congestion, motion sickness, and obesity. Yellow is a nerve stimulant; it can be helpful with depression, fear, and tension, and can soothe mental exhaustion.
Yellow in food often indicates the presence of lutein, magnesium, and Vitamin C and limonene. Because it is a sharpening color that enhances alertness, concentration, communication, and focus, you will often find yellow on food packaging.
May reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. May strengthen bones and teeth, help the body heal wounds, keep skin healthy and maintain eyesight.
Yellow is happy, warm radiant and represents the Solar Plexus. Yellow whole foods are loaded with many antioxidants and phytochemicals which help promote healthy function of the liver, gall bladder, pancreas as well as other vital organs and the nervous system.
Evening Primrose Flowers
Golden Flax Seed
Yellow Marigold Flowers
Yellow summer squash
Yellow Wax Beans
Green is made by combining yellow (wisdom) with blue (spirituality). Being in the middle of the color spectrum, it is neither hot nor cold. Green is the color of the heart center, healing, balance, compassion, love, transformation, growth, generosity, and peace.
Green is rejuvenating and anti-inflammatory. Green can help calm anger and improve memory, paranoia, and nervous exhaustion. It affects the lungs, heart, thymus gland, and immune system. Use green for backaches, heart trouble, immune disorders, lupus, allergies, head colds, shock, and trauma, and to lower blood pressure.
Green in plants signifies the presence of chlorophyll. We see green as clean, crisp, and refreshing, and so is often used to market cleaning products.
Helps maintain eyesight and may reduce the risk of vision problems common later in life. May reduce the risk of cancer and help the body get rid of cancer-causing chemicals.
Green is considered a healing color and is associated with the heart. Green fruits and vegetables contain phyto-chemicals such as luteins and indoles which are good for the heart. They are also high in fiber and promote a healthy digestive system.
Green beans (e.g. green Lima)
Green Tomatoes (green when ripe)
Leafy green vegetables
Blue is cool (yin), crisp, clean, and refreshing. Blue is associated with spirituality, serenity, truth, communication, revelation, trust, and faith. Its effect is calming and instills gentleness and composure. Blue can be used to counteract violence, restlessness, agitation, hyperactivity, violence, and insomnia.
Being a counterirritant, blue is the color of choice to soothe pain and suffering. It causes the brain to secrete tranquilizing chemicals. Blue can be used to lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and brain wave activity, and to quiet menstrual cramps. Use blue for a fever, sore throat, ear infection, toothaches, bee stings, hyperthyroid, colic, burns, itches, and rashes. It is also used in hospital neonatal wards to facilitate the breakdown of biliruben in jaundiced babies.
Blue foods are often rich in flavonoids. Blue is not always a good color for decorating a social area due to its quieting, cooling effect.
May reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and complications from diabetes. May help control high blood pressure and slow some effects of aging.
Blue is the color of enthusiasms, expression and loyalty. Blue fruits and vegetables are believed to have many anti-aging benefits and contain vast amounts of health promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phoenolics which are beneficial to the muscular and skeletal systems.
Indigo, a regal, dark blue-violet, is cool (yin) and claming. It is associated with our psychic awareness, intuition, and memory.
Indigo is soothing and antiseptic. It can help balance fear, frustration, and negative emotions; it helps one to be less aware of pain yet fully conscious. Use indigo for pain, poor motor skills, posture, menstrual irregularities, hair loss, and eye and ear disorders.
In foods, indigo appears as a blue with a black overtone, as in black beans, blackberries, or plums. Indigo foods are often good sources of Vitamin K and lycopene.
Indigo is inspiration, imagination and peace of mind. Similar to blue, indigo fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and phyto-chemicals which help promote healthy function of the brain, pituitary gland, sinus, vocal cords and the lungs, as well as boosting the immune and respiratory systems.
Tamari (soy sauce)
Violet is a mix of blue (spirituality) and red (passion), is considered regal, dignified, and exclusive. It is cooling (yin), cleansing, antiseptic, soothing, and narcotic. Violet symbolizes creative imagination and spiritual attainment, and corresponds to psychic protection, artistry, and mystery. It correlates to cosmic consciousness; with violet, we can be more open to divine power.
Violet helps normalize hormonal activity, curb appetite, and regulate metabolism. It is said to be more sexually stimulating to women. Use violet to treat migraines, epilepsy, parasites, dandruff, and baldness, to soothe serious mental conditions, and to relive the side effects of chemotherapy.
Violet foods are rich in Vitamin D.
Violet is a higher frequency of color associated with universal love, selflessness and understanding. Violet whole foods tend to contain essential phyto-chemicals and fatty acids which are beneficial for the cerebral cortex, pineal glad, hypothalamus and upper brain function, as well as the lymphatic system.
Purple (Red) Onions
Purple Green Beans
Black foods are associated with the kidneys and bladder in Asian medicine. Foods that are black in color are usually rich in minerals.
Black Flax Seed
Black Sesame Seeds
White is associated with the top of the color spectrum (crown chakra) and, in Asian medicine, with strengthening to the lungs and large intestines. White foods are often rich in sulfur and quercetin.
May reduce the risk of cancer and help the body get rid of cancer-causing chemicals.
Green Onions / Scallions
White Sesame Seeds