I only ate red food for three days and this is what happened

The short answer is nothing, the long answer is nothing, here’s my story

(Kristen Frier)

(Kristen Frier)

Choosing food exclusively by its colour displays an obscene level of privilege. Colour is not the primary concern for most people when they eat. When was the last time you heard anyone denying eating something because it was the wrong colour?

But if you think about it, food with mixed colours would be quite unpalatable even to someone who’s constantly hungry like me. I don’t know about you folks, but I could never eat a purple lemon.

However, I got around to trying it just for the sake of it. After all, as a self-identified man of science and reason, I was willing to take the risk, and unlike Galileo, there’s no Catholic Church interfering this time. 

Red rice and red lentils three times a day and fruits like cherries, strawberries, cranberries, and a ginormous watermelon as snacks. I gave beets a pass because I never liked them in the first place, and they’re dark mauve (fight me) along with red meat because I’m vegetarian (try it, it’s good).

Some of these red foods are rich in iron and vitamin C, not like I noticed any change or anything but still good to know.

Red foods are also supposedly rich in something called anthocyanin (yes, I just found out about it, thanks, Jimmy Wales) which can potentially act as an antioxidant maybe? It has no proven positive effect on humans, hence its unsurprising absence as a buzzword on health and fitness websites. But they seem to have enough of those already.

Thankfully, after having tried this I can safely say that I neither passed out (insert free healthcare reference here) nor did I learn to fly or walk on water, but it was great experimenting with my diet just for fun, if not for immediate health benefits. 

And voilà, I don’t feel any notable differences except maybe having endured quite a limited choice of food items, but I think I should continue my spree of eating fruits often.

Moreover, I can’t completely discredit the impact of either the placebo or nocebo effect (nocebo more so) hence as with most anecdotes, take this one with a grain of salt.

As things stand though, I’d recommend everyone to include a colourful array of foodstuffs, especially fruits in their diet because giving things a rich colour is perhaps nature’s way of telling us that it’s good to eat. 

So do what you will. Green, blue, orange, mauve, whatever, but remember to eat healthy, or get ready to fall down the “tirelessly trying to get in shape” rabbit-hole.