Have you ever wondered why we find the beauty of shape and colour in a bowl of varied fruit irresistible?
Or similarly, why we’ve all at some time I’m sure, had to try ever colour of Smartie or M&M’s although they taste the same?
Or how once we’ve opened a box of chocolates the different shapes tempt us to try others?
There are two interlinked behaviours going on here which numerous brands have used for many years to their advantage.
As primeval humans we understood the beauty of different colours and shapes in foods.
We learned that by eating a variety of different fruits, vegetables and herbs, we could optimise our nutrition – providing energy and protection against illnesses.
And we discovered that the different colours of foods represented distinct nutritional benefits which varied from say red coloured tomatoes to purple carrots.
And we now understand that the beauty of colour, representing different phytochemicals play a major role in preventing heart disease, cancer and other illnesses:
- Red: Lycopenes and Anthocyanin: Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Grapes, Red Onion.
- Yellow/Orange: Carotenoids and Bioflavanoids: Yellow Peppers, Carrots, Citrus Fruits.
- Blue/Purple: Anthocyanins and Phenolics: Eggplant, Currants, Figs.
- Green: Lutein and Indoles: Broccoli, Lettuce, Cucumber.
- White: Allicins: Onions, Garlic.
So the expression ‘as happy as a child in a sweet shop’ is well-founded on our love of different colours and shapes.
And this has never been more relevant with the power of social media and instagram in particular focusing on presenting visually stunning images with vibrant colours and contrasts and new takes on old recipes.
As they say ‘variety is the spice of life.’