The World's Healthiest Foods are health-promoting foods that can change your life.

Try the exciting new lunch recipe from Day 4 of our upcoming 7-Day Meal Plan.

The George Mateljan Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests or
advertising. Our mission is to help you eat and cook the healthiest way for optimal health.
Do darker colored fruits and vegetables have more nutrients than lighter colored ones?

No, the darkness of a fruit or vegetable's color (called hue) is not necessarily related to its nutrient diversity or nutrient density. The reason is very simple.

A relatively small number of nutrients provide fruits and vegetables with their color. (The majority of these nutrients are pigments - flavonoids, carotenoids, melanins, porphyrins, and a few other categories of nutrients). But, more of a specific nutrient that provides color will make the food darker in that color.

However, most of the nutrients needed by the human body are not pigments and do not produce unique shades of color in fruits and vegetables. A food could be very light in color and contain large amounts of these non-pigment nutrients. A good example would be white onion - one of the lightest colored vegetables we can imagine! White onion is a significant source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate, as well as chromium, manganese, molybdenum, phorphorus, and copper. It also contains a variety of highly unique and health-supportive sulfur molecules. Even with all of these important nutrients, however, it remains white.

Even when comparing different varieties of the same food - for example, green grapes versus red grapes, or a green Granny Smith apple compared to a Red Delicious apple - the differences in color do not usually represent "better" and "worse" in terms of nourishment. The skin of a green Granny Smith apple is going to have more chlorophyll than the skin of a Red Delicious apple, but the Red Delicious is going to have more anthocyanins. This difference is not a case of better versus worse - it's a case of being nutritionally unique, with each offering its own nutritional benefits. On our website we emphasize the principle of the unique nutritional value of each individual food. The diversities of color and intensities of color are important exactly because of this diversity.

We would like to mention one exception to the principles described above: processed food. Processed food typically loses its natural color because the natural food pigments that contain color are processed out. To compensate, the food manufacturers usually add artificial colors. When it comes to processed food, you might be in more trouble with a richly colored food than a pale, uncolored version due to this nutrient-depleting and artificial coloring process.

For more information on this topic see:

Printer friendly version

Send this page to a friend...

rss


Find Out What Foods You Should Eat This Week

Also find out about the recipe, nutrient and hot topic of the week on our home page.

 

Everything you want to know about healthy eating and cooking from our new book.
2nd Edition
Order this Incredible 2nd Edition at the same low price of $39.95 and also get 2 FREE gifts valued at $51.95. Read more

Newsletter SignUp

Your Email:

Healthy Eating
Healthy Cooking
Nutrients from Food
Website Articles
Community
Privacy Policy and Visitor Agreement
References
For education only, consult a healthcare practitioner for any health problems.

We're Number 1
in the World!

35 million visitors per year.
The World's Healthiest Foods website is a leading source of information and expert on the Healthiest Way of Eating and Cooking. It's one of the most visited website on the internet when it comes to "Healthiest Foods" and "Healthiest Recipes" and comes up #1 on a Google search for these phrases.

Over 100 Quick &
Easy Recipes

Our Recipe Assistant will help you find the recipe that suits your personal needs. The majority of recipes we offer can be both prepared and cooked in 20 minutes or less from start to finish; a whole meal can be prepared in 30 minutes. A number of them can also be prepared ahead of time and enjoyed later.

World's Healthiest
Foods
is expanded

What's in our new book:
  • 180 more pages
  • Smart Menu
  • Nutrient-Rich Cooking
  • 300 New Recipes
  • New Nutrient Articles and Profiles
  • New Photos and Design
privacy policy and visitor agreement | who we are | site map | what's new
For education only, consult a healthcare practitioner for any health problems.
© 2001-2017 The George Mateljan Foundation, All Rights Reserved