Shop Your Colors

“Eat your colors” is one of Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” in his new book by the same name.

Why do you need to “eat your colors”? Isn’t that an old wives tale?

It turns out to be true. There is actually science backing this old tale, and here’s why. Each color in your produce represents a different antioxidant phytochemical, and has a seperate function in protecting us from disease and boosting our immunity. And we need all of them in combination for optimal health.

When I lead a grocery tour with a client, I start with this point. Shop your Colors. Buy what you love and need and then look down into your cart. If you are staring at all one color or just a couple, go back and add some more.

I used to play a game with my son when he was little; he would have to name all the colors in our cart. If we were missing something, he got to choose the missing color in produce… I admit to some rotting burdock and UGLI fruit a long time ago, but for the most part it kept me on my toes and him busy for at least 5 minutes.

Now that he’s “too big” to come with me, I still play.. And I’ve gotten better at knowing what to do with burdock root.

Here’s a reminder to inspire you while you shop your “on line market”. This will vary by time of year- Just aim for as many as possible. And involve your little friends if you can.

For Green– arugula, kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, sprouts, dandelion, mustard, limes, grapes, apples, tomatoes, avocado, artichoke, kiwi, celery, cucumbers

For Red– strawberries, red pepper, apples, pomegranates, beets, watermelons, tomatoes, raspberries, cherries

For Orange– Butternut squash, oranges, clementines, tangerines, peaches, kumquat, orange beets, mango, papaya, carrots

For Yellow– Yellow pepper, yellow squash, lemon, pineapple, apples, tomatoes

For White– Garlic, onions, mushrooms, Daikon, white eggplant

For Purple– grapes,eggplant, plums, blueberries, blackberries

This article was originally published at, an on-line farmer’s market serving Loudoun County, VA..

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