Eating the Color Wheel

Eating the Color WheelBlueberry pancakes, marinated red peppers, tomato salsa, a papaya smoothie, blue corn tortillas, and zucchini muffins aren’t just great taste treats, they’re good for you. It’s all in the color.

One of the best authorities on color cooking is cookbook author Jeanne Jones. She’s been consulting with clients such as Loews Coronado Bay Resort, The Golden Door, Canyon Ranch Health Resorts, and The Four Seasons Hotels to develop menus and recipes that reflect her passion for healthful eating.

For Loews Coronado, she introduced a colorful sea spa menu that reflects the point of view of many nutrition experts: having a multitude of colors on your plate every day is the key to healthy eating. All those colors have very healthful properties. Here are some of the basics:

They contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and carotenes and bioflavonoids.

Eating the Color Wheel

The green group contains sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indole, which help the liver break down and excrete carcinogens.

Eating the Color Wheel

This pigment is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting chemicals.

Eating the Color Wheel

Lycopene, an antioxidant, protects against prostate and other cancers, as well and heart and lung disease. Anthocyanins also are powerful antioxidants that may inhibit blood clot formation.

Eating the Color Wheel

Purple also contains anthocyanins; purple foods may help delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and lower risk of some cancers.

Eating the Color Wheel


“Incorporating different colors into your daily menu is fun and doable,” says Jones, whose website, has lots of color-oriented recipes. “Just thinking this way makes going to the grocery store more fun, and it makes it easier to get young kids to eat more healthfully because they’ll enjoy a colorful plate.

“This is a very old-fashioned idea,” she says. “Long ago, grandmothers were saying that if you eat something of every color every day, you’ll have a balanced diet.

Research has proved that they’re right.”

About our colorful guest contributor: Caron Golden has a thing for food. And farms. And markets. And restaurants. She gets to indulge in this obsession as an award-winning freelance food writer, whose work appears in Edible San Diego, San Diego Magazine, and Saveur. She is a first-class shopper and loves to share her discoveries on her blog San Diego Foodstuff.