Dietitian's Corner: How Veggie & Fruit Color Can Affect Your Health

Rainbow color fruits and vegetables

Created by: Allison Kuhn, RD LD

You've probably heard popular catchphrases like "color your plate"and "eat the rainbow."The natural pigments responsible for the colors in fruits and vegetables are divided into several categories. Within each, individual compounds called phytochemicals can contribute to different aspects of human health.

Eat your way across all categories to get the most out of them all!

Color Breakdown:


Don't forget to finish your broccoli! Green vegetables contain lutein and chlorophyll pigments, which help support vision and prevent cellular damage.

Yellow and Orange

Who doesn't love carrots and cantaloupe? They both contain carotenoid pigments. Carotenoids serve as precursors to vitamin A, which is vital for healthy skin, eyes, and the immune system.

Red, Purple and Blue

Blueberries, purple cabbage, and blackberries all contain anthocyanin pigments, which may help maintain heart and brain health.


Purplish-red fruits and vegetables such as beets contain betalain pigments. Betalains often contain antioxidants that protect against LDL (bad cholesterol).


White vegetables like cauliflower and onions contain anthoxanthin pigments. Anthoxanthins may improve hearth health too.