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Why Orange Is the Greatest Color in the Food Rainbow

I’ll admit it: Some pretty strong arguments for green and red as the best color in the foodie rainbow have been made by my colleagues.
It’s too bad they were wrong.
I mean, they can’t possibly be right, because my favorite food color — orange — is obviously the greatest of them all. Don’t believe me? Allow me to elaborate.


Orange is the best! Photo credit: Kyle McDonald, Flickr

First of all, it has an actual food named after it. A delicious food. Oranges are delicious! But even if you branch out from oranges and delve into, say, clementines, tangerines and kumquats, you’ve still got a whole lot of tastiness going on. Oh, and mangoes! And what about peaches? Apricots, nectarines, cantaloupe, papaya … the list of mouthwatering orange fruits goes on and on.
You’re not all that into sweet, you say? Well, the pumpkin is awfully orange. And also awfully scrumptious.
And it goes well beyond fruits. Look at the wonderful world of orange vegetables. Carrots are a fantastic snack, and we all know how I feel about sweet potatoes. Butternut squash is a popular ingredient, and with good reason. And what’s a kebob without some orange bell peppers thrown in?
Orange is also the color of all kinds of amazing flavors when it comes to seasoning your grub. Ginger is a little on the orange side, while turmeric and saffron both have an orangey-yellow hue. Like things spicy? Have a habanero pepper, baby!
Now, all those incredible flavors are enough to get me on board with adding orange to pretty much any meal, but I know we have some data-hungry readers out there, so let me give you the scientific scoop. Beta-carotene is what gives many foods their gorgeous orange glow, and beta-carotene is great for your vision (remember how you were always told to eat carrots as a kid?), skin and hair. In citrus fruits, it’s generally due to vitamin C, an antioxidant with which we’re all familiar (especially this time of year when everybody is fighting a cold).
That’s not all. From lutein in pumpkin to folate in cantaloupe, orange foods pack a serious punch when it comes to nutrition, and this handy post from Food Network lays it all out for you. Because, honestly? I’d rather focus on how awesome that sweet potato is going to taste once I add a little ginger.
Have I convinced you that orange rules? Did I miss any of your favorite orange foods? —Kristen

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