You already know the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better. But did you know that the same goes for their colors? Those vibrant reds, greens, oranges (and everything in between) are pretty—and packed with tons of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins that'll take your energy (and your dancing) to the next level. Dance Spirit turned to Marie Scioscia, a registered dietitian with The Ailey School, for a breakdown on each color and its specific benefits.
Fruits: Green grapes and kiwis
Vegetables: Kale, spinach, bok choy, broccoli, and leafy salad greens
"Green fruits, including grapes and kiwis, are packed with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C—all key in promoting healthy joints and muscles, as well as immunity," Scioscia says. "Green vegetables are especially good for your eyes, bones, and teeth. They provide your eyes with phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect against macular degeneration (vision loss)."
Fruits: Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries
Vegetables: Tomatoes, red peppers, and red onions
"Red fruits and vegetables are filled with lycopene, fiber and vitamins
A and C," Scioscia says. "Vitamins A and C help protect against cancer and support joint tissue," and lycopene is a phytonutrient that contains antioxidants and anti-cancer properties.
Blue and Purple
Fruits: Prunes, blueberries, and plums
Vegetables: Eggplants, endive, and cabbage
"Blue and purple fruits and vegetables provide your body with nutrients to help fight inflammation, improve its ability to absorb calcium, support healthy digestion, and boost the overall immune system," Scioscia says.
Yellow and Orange
Fruits: Oranges, mangos, peaches, and pineapple
Vegetables: Carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, golden beets, and pumpkin
"Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamin C and beta-carotene, both of which are antioxidants that promote healthy joints and collagen formation—a key for healthy, quick-to-heal skin," Scioscia says. "They also boost the immune system and encourage a healthy pH balance, which improves bone health, among other things."
Fruits: Apples, pears, and bananas
Vegetables: Cauliflower and cucumbers
"White fruits and vegetables are abundant in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect your joints. Their fiber content also helps lower cholesterol and regulates digestion," Scioscia says.
A version of this story appeared in the March 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Taste The Rainbow."