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Color Me ‘Buddha-ful’

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Color Me ‘Buddha-ful’

The unique energy of color.
Elaine  Wilkes Ph.D., N.C., M.A.
Elaine Wilkes Ph.D., N.C., M.A. More by this author
Jun 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Each chakra (energy centers in the body) is associated with a color and a corresponding sound, and every color is a different wavelength of light, which gives it a unique energy. Therefore, since each color has a different tone, eating a variety of colorful foods is like a symphony playing in your body. If you want to be in harmony, give your body a healthy balance of colorful foods. On the other hand, eating the same things every day is like playing “Chopsticks” over and over and won’t do much for your body.

Test Your Nature IQ

Try answering these colorful questions:

  1. What’s the best color plate to use if you’re on a diet?
  2. What color indicates that a plant or food may contain sunscreening benefits?
  3. According to Chinese medicine, what do yellow foods help in the body?
  4. Name the color that Leonardo da Vinci is referring to in this quote: “The power of meditation can be ten times greater under _____ light falling through a stained glass window of a quiet church.”


  1. Blue
  2. Red
  3. The liver and digestion
  4. Violet

Like food, color isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. As in life, there are exceptions to the rules, but here are general clues of food colors that can help you:

Red. Primitive cultures believed that red food helped the blood, since it mirrors its appearance. We know that beets have a plentiful supply of iron, which nourishes the blood, along with fiber, which helps reduce serum cholesterol. Betacyanin, the red pigment of beets, can increase the blood’s oxygen-carrying ability by being absorbed into the blood’s corpuscles. The powerful antioxidant lycopene, found in red foods like tomatoes (which even have four chambers like the heart), reduces cholesterol. Anthocyanins, reddish pigments found in many red fruits, also protect against heart disease.

In addition, red flower essences are reportedly good for the heart, blood circulation, energy, and vitality. In herbalism, red plants are used to treat fever. And pink and red are associated with the endocrine system.

Orange. Orange flower remedies are used to increase sociability, which is a characteristic of the second chakra.

Yellow. Yellow foods are associated with digestion (“yellow belly”), the solar plexus, the lymph system, cells, intestines, and the liver. In Chinese medicine, this color is associated with the stomach and spleen, and in Western herbalism, an olive (yellow green) color is associated with bile, which is a crucial part of the digestive system.

To get your energy moving first thing in the morning, drink some warm lemon water and tap on your kidneys, which are located near the spine at the small of the back. You can also add a little cayenne pepper as a wake-up call.

Look at how Nature’s yellows are related to the stomach area. Ginger relieves upset stomachs and encourages bile flow. The bromelain in pineapple helps with digestion. Chamomile helps inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Yellow-flower remedies are often used for liver and self-esteem issues. Dark yellow flowers stimulate life force and the liver, while light yellow flowers help with internal cleansing.

Green. Green plants store the energy they receive from the sun, and that energy becomes a part of the food you eat. Dark green plants are generally high in minerals and help the circulatory system. Cucumbers and fresh green juices are great for alkalizing your body, contributing to optimum health. (You’ll get great results juicing fresh greens for a few days. You’ll actually feel more energy; develop clearer, more vibrant skin; and gain new perspectives easier.) 

Blue. According to author and berry researcher Paul Gross, Ph.D., dark blue, purple, or black fruits that easily stain your fingers during picking are great sources of anthocyanins, plant pigments that have numerous health benefits. Among other benefits, anthocyanins help eyesight and the nervous system, and they fight atherosclerosis.1

And interestingly, using small-sized sky blue plates may help you eat more slowly, because this light color has a calming effect on the brain. Dark blue fends off a large appetite.

Purple. Generally, purple flowers calm and relax you. This is no surprise because purple, the color of the seventh chakra, is known to be soothing and is related to spirituality in many cultures. Even Leonardo da Vinci believed that the power of meditating was up to ten times greater under a stained-glass window’s violet light in a church.2

Black. According to Chinese medicine, black herbs and foods (such as nori, black rice, black cherries, black mushrooms, and black beans) help improve kidney function.


  1. Gross, P., “Anthocyanin Antioxidants—Just the Facts,”
  2. Amber, R.B., Color Therapy: Healing with Color. Santa Fe, MN: Aurora Press, 1983.
About Author
Elaine  Wilkes Ph.D., N.C., M.A.
Elaine Wilkes, Ph.D., N.C., M.A., was a self-proclaimed “learning addict” who ultimately discovered that the answers to most of life’s questions are found in nature’s magic. A nutritionist with a Ph.D. in naturopathy (alternative medicine) and a mast Continue reading