Appetite arrives with… colour analysis!

Appetite arrives with… colour analysis!

Has anyone wondered what colour we are?

Rossana Gravina

For the sake of truth and as Socrates teaches, I am always aware of my ignorance to get the opportunity to understand more. I admit it and raise my hand: I never asked myself what colour I was until some days ago, after a revelation from a well-known politician who affirmed that he avails himself a Personal Colour Analysis consultant.

This figure, in itself, instils a sure fear, and, for a brief moment, we might distance ourselves from it: better safe than sorry. These words show at first an intricate linguistic complexity which leaves us thinking of what exotic subject of our existence.

Then I started investigating or better navigating the technical jargon of research practices of our present time to understand its meaning and verify if there was any scientific evidence.

Writing PCA as a keyword on the know-it-all Google search engine, we bump into the Theory of Colours by Lüscher, which says1)

“…The choices and preferences that all of us manifest for certain colours to the detriment of others are completely unintentional: Every colour activates a specific sensory reaction inside ourselves associated with a specific emotional value that can prove to be in harmony or opposition with our attitudes, thus directing our preferences. The psychology of colours has universal values and allows accurate assessments of personality […].”(2)

In short, the theory by Max Luscher states that the psychic reality of each individual deals with four colours, which correspond to likewise psychological dimensions:

Red colour expresses self-confidence, strength and action abilities

Green connects to self-esteem, the spirit of solidarity and perseverance

Yellow recalls interior liberty, dynamism and independence

Blue suggests tranquillity, thoughtfulness and patience

As a good habit of our mind, it is instinctive to try and identify with the positive side of one of the requirements listed and think to coincide with one colour or another. But in reality, a person, humanity, cannot be reduced to one aspect, which is valid for colours too. Consequently, I believe it is possible to verify the presence of all colours in all their nuances and percentage in our identity, trying to find any excess and-or chromatic blemishes to bring back balance and harmony in our human dimension. 

In light of these psycho/chromatic landscapes, Luscher helps us see the leading chromatic aspect of a subject; if it is too much or less present, if it creates imbalances in the relationship with ourselves or others.

How can we apply the Theory of Colours in our foods?

Surfing the internet, we discover that this theory is applied in different fields of study and life, from fashion to make-up, from interior design to nourishment, affirming that any food possesses a specific chromatic value, according to which every colour corresponds to an emotion and contains an experience. Such chromatic value in foodstuffs seems to transmit, at first, information about its edibility, identity and freshness of taste and flavour, inviting us to choose and taste or eventually refuse some foodstuffs.

The sense of vision is connected strictly to our relationship with food, so much so that one of the older and wiser sayings of our beloved grandparents first tells us that we eat “with our eyes.” 

Food colour strongly impacts our psyche, mood and health since each colour corresponds to emotion and brings within it beneficial properties.

Before the theory of colour, they developed the Theory of Chromotherapy, namely, the therapeutic system that bases its benefits using different colours on the human body and mind. The theory of colour has quite old roots. The Egyptians, the Romans and the Greeks have always given significance to the effects of colours on health and psychic well-being. In the ancient Chinese medical tradition, they classify flavours calling on the senses of taste and sight. According to this theory, colour is the first component that hits and influences how we perceive flavours.

Red for bitter

Yellow for sweet

White for spicy

Black for savoury

Green for sour

At this point, the question is how the different characteristics and benefits of some coloured nourishments, namely food colour harmony, can contribute to our well-being.

The rainbow of Colour Harmony at the table.


Among the many hues of the chromatic scale, colour harmony theorists tell us that it is possible to classify the colours of food into five main groups.


 Known for the abundance of vitamin C that helps and reinforces our immune system, yellow and orange foods represent a proper cure-all for our health. Citruses, pumpkin, bananas, and peaches, the colour of these foods attract us, especially when we are in the company of others, and we need to socialize when we seek a creative dinner.

Yellow and orange represent the passion in the widest of its meaning, not just sexuality but the need to embrace the whole.

Yellow foodstuff is suitable for detoxifying the liver and the gallbladder (hence, the body as a whole) and has mild acidic content keeping the digestive system efficient.

They have also found that yellow food can help our concentration: here is a helpful ally to introduce into our diet during intense study times or specific mental effort at work.


Mainly in summer, yet not only then, but our choice also falls on the red colour: strength, fire and emotions. Red-coloured fruit and vegetable possess a pleasant and inviting aspect, a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and energizing action.

Strawberries, tomatoes, radishes, red grapes, pomegranates and cherries are all foods we set our eyes on when we need to move and feel inspired. The same drive happens with hunger…do not eat them when on a diet!


The colour par excellence of the vegetable world, green is generally abundantly present on our tables. Green vegetables contain mainly chlorophyll, which has anti-anaemia and blood-purifying properties, invigorates the heart; it regulates the cholesterol, wipes out toxins and helps to scar. Green-coloured food possesses a considerable and not less significant power: it allows balance and calms down greediness in nourishment. These foods are excellent blood depurators. They facilitate lymphatic drainage and strengthen the cardio-circulatory system.

More generally, all green-leaved vegetables contain chlorophyll, lutein, carotenoids, magnesium, and vitamin B9 and C, which help prevent cancer and is a precious ally of the nervous system, sight and blood pressure.

They have also demonstrated that green food can soothe migraines.

Blue or violet

Traditionally it puts off the appetite and the stimulus to eat and is the opposite of red. Blue is associated with the colour of death. For such reason, some diets finalized to lose weight suggest putting the food on a blue plate. However, in recent years, we hear talking of the importance of vegetables and fruit of blue and violet colour. They are rich in beneficial properties. They are aubergines, blackberries, blueberries, green cabbage, and grapes. Several are the ingredients of blue and violet colour, which our nourishment should never lack.


Foods, whose vibrations go from blue to violet, are rich in manganese and other elements fundamental to our cerebral functionality. They are generally rich in antioxidants that prevent ageing, reduce inflammation and are valid for our hearts and eyes. A recent study from the University of Rochester shows that purple-coloured foods reduce hunger since we perceive them as less tasty. Great for those on a diet


White food has great depurative, antioxidant and anti-ageing effects. Since they are rich in fibres and mineral salts, they prevent the risk of tumours, thrombosis and cardiovascular illnesses. Furthermore, white colour foods reinforce our bone tissues, lungs and digestive system.

Such a short contribution to the extensive debates around the theory of colour applied to nourishment cannot and does not want to be exhaustive of the theme. We can consider it instead a general cognitive excursus of the topic.

Following the principles dictated by common sense, the learning lesson is to follow the so-called Rainbow Theory rule, which is to introduce all the colours of the iris every day on your diet.

Eating foods of all chromatic hues, with all their benefits, contributes to our well-being and health, thus harmony in our daily life. (3)

(1) La Teoria dei colori di Luscher,


(3) ibid.

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