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Fall Colors Offer a Phytochemical Feast

Fall food, fall foliage—autumn provides a bounty of dazzling color! The season is a vibrant reminder that the best way to eat healthy and stay well is to take advantage of the edible rainbow of color that occurs naturally. Consider the bright crimson apple, the fluorescent orange squash…these flamboyant fruits and veggies are making their best case in the fall months.

It’s the doctrine of The Color Code: color is your medicine all seasons of the year. Eating deep, colorful foods in the widest spectrum is simply the best thing to do for your health. When we eat colorful foods, we’re getting the benefit of phytochemicals, and phytochemicals protect us from disease.

According to botanist Dr. James Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy, we need phytochemicals in our diet because the human body evolved with them. In many cases, says Duke, cancer and heart disease are simply a deficiency of antioxidants. “Scientists are starting to think of these diseases as a shortage of phytochemicals,” he says.

So, if it’s loaded with color, it’s loaded with disease prevention. And right now, it’s all there for the taking, so load up.  

Bewildered by Blues? Perplexed by Purples? Don’t Be.

Eating across the color spectrum can seem easy in some hues and less easy in others. Deep greens, for instance, can appear readily available, while blues and purples sometimes stump us.

But don’t be color blind to the uncommon benefits and surprising accessibility of these colors—deep purples and blues represent some of the healthiest foods under the sun. In fact, fall is the perfect time for munching away at this particular end of the spectrum. Think red cabbage and red onion for those saturated red-purple hues. Lusciously dark eggplant is a fall staple and a great representative of the purple family. And wild blueberries, the number one superfruit, is a cobalt delight—get them frozen any time of year.

Fall is awash in color! Take your penchant for leaf peeping to the produce aisle and fill your bag to the brim with all the colors of the spectrum!

For additional inspiration, see WebMD’s video about Fall Food Colors.

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