To establish the plant based eating habit, we take a look a list of vegetables and fruits that are mostly available to us. Most of the plant based food can be grouped by color. This is a natural color found on the fruits, vegetable and flowers; no artificial color. The pigments that gives the plant based food distinctive hues are called phytochemicals. The phytochemicals, backed by scientific study, prevent cell damage, cancer cell replication, decrease cholesterol levels, and cause cancer cells to self-destruct. They strengthen the immune system, create healthy blood sugar levels, slow the aging process and reduce inflammation.
The following shows a list of vegetables and fruits in different colors that you can comfortable choose for your healthy diet.
List of Vegetables and Fruits by Color
Red: tomatoes, beets, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, rhubarb, watermelon, strawberries, guava, red bell peppers, red chili peppers, red plums, red apples, red potatoes, red lentils, red beans, pink grapefruit, red miso.
Blue/purple: blueberries, blackberries, prunes, beets, eggplant, plums, pluots, purple cabbage, purple onions, purple potatoes, mulberries, figs, purple cauliflower, purple carrots, purple pole beans, kohlrabi, raisins, purple grapes, purple kale, radicchio
Orange: butternut or winter squash, oranges, cantaloupe, yams, nectarines, mangos, carrots, pumpkin, persimmons, tangelos, mandarins, kumquats, apricots, peaches, orange bell peppers
Yellow: corn, pineapples, lemons, plantains, yellow potatoes, yellow onions, squash, yellow bell peppers, grapefruit, papaya, quinces, sweet potatoes, ginger, saffron, yellow miso, yellow split peas, yellow watermelon
Green: spinach, broccoli, peas, asparagus, kiwi, green grapes, avocados, green bell peppers, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, turnip greens, edamame, green tea, kale, collard greens, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, okra, limes, celery, honeydew melon, pistachios, beet greens, chard, basil, parsley, mint, green olives, fennel, rosemary, green split peas, pumpkin seeds
White/tan: garlic, white onions, coconut, cauliflower, white potatoes, pears, bananas, jicama, turnips, white tea, peanuts, white beans, oats, cashews, quinoa, barley, sesame seeds, bulgur wheat, couscous, farro, parsnips, soy beans, tofu, tempeh
Brown: whole grains, legumes, chocolate/cocoa, flaxseeds, coffee, dates, chestnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, brown lentils, pinto beans, brown mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms
Black: black beans, black sesame seeds, black kale, black carrots, black turnip, black tea, forbidden rice, black quinoa, wild rice, black mushrooms, black olives, black currants, black vinegar, nori seaweed, arame seaweed, wakame seaweed, black walnuts
Sources: 30 Day Vegan Challenge
Nutrients for Different Colors of Vegetables and Fruits
Red and Orange: Red and Orange color of vegetables are generally rich in vitamin C. Though some non-red and orange vegetable have higher vitamin C compared to those are. For example, broccoli has higher vitamin C scale than tomato does.
Green: Green vegetables are the food to boost your iron level. However, be noted that iron in plant foods are called non-heme irons, which are harder to be absorbed into our body compared to irons from animals. As a result, abundant consumption of green vegetables are needed.
Blue and Purple: The blue color has powerful antioxidant agents that protects against cancer and heart disease; while purple such as eggplants also contains compounds that protect against cancer.
Black: Black is also rich with antioxidant. Black rice has about twice protein measures than brown rice, but it is lower in manganese and zinc.
Knowing the color group of assorted foods and their respective nutrients, you can use information to plan around your vegan diet. This will created unlimited combination of vegan diet menu.
African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew
- 3 tablespoons water for sautéing
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½-inch squares
- 3 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½–¾ cup smooth natural peanut butter (crunchy works great, too)
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (see below)
- One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½–1 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts (optional)
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Heat the water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the peanut butter, and distribute it evenly throughout. You may want to thin out the peanut butter first by mixing it with some water in a small bowl before adding it to the pot. It will make it easier to incorporate it into the stew.
- Add the sweet potatoes, kidney beans, and tomatoes, and stir to coat. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
- Taste and add salt, if necessary. Serve in individual bowls, and top with chopped nuts and cilantro, if desired.
Inspired by 30 Day Vegan Challenge