Vegetables and fruit get their coloring from naturally occurring pigmentation. Some examples are beta-carotene in carrots, lutein in red peppers and lycopene in tomatoes. The colors of plants do more than just make them look beautiful; there are health benefits to the pigments that range from antioxidants, protection from heart disease and certain types of cancer. That’s good news for gardeners. There are so many colorful plants out there, many heirloom varieties, that you can plant a colorful rainbow of veggies.

1. Radishes

These cute little root vegetables are easy to grow and add a little peppery kick to a salad. They are quick growing too: less than a month from seed to table. Mostly known for their red color, radishes are also available in pastel colors, striped and even black! The watermelon radishes pictured here are just gorgeous.

Image: Susie's Farm/Flickr

Watermelon radish is also known as Roseheart or Red Meat radish. This is an heirloom Chinese Daikon radish that has 4-inch round roots with white and green skin and a rose-red center. Unlike most radishes that have a peppery bite, these radishes are sweet, crisp and delicious.

2. Eggplant

Most of us are familiar with the deep purple, almost black color of eggplants. They are available in a range of colors from many shades of purple, greens, all white and even oranges. But check out these striped beauties.

Image: Larry/Flickr

There are several varieties of striped eggplants — some common varieties are Angels, Caliope and Nubia.

More: 7 things to think about when planning a garden

3. Carrots

Orange carrots have only been around since the 17th century. They were cultivated by the Dutch in honor of William of Orange who led the struggle for Dutch independence. Until then, carrots were red, white, purple and even black.

Image: duckycards/SheKnows

The gorgeous purplish red exterior of these purple dragon carrots is a wonderful contrast to the brilliant orange interior. These pretty carrots will get anyone to eat their veggies.

4. Cauliflower

Skip the plain white variety of cauliflower and go for color. Cauliflower comes in bright apple green, yellow and purples. They are high in dietary fiber, folate and vitamin C and depending on the color, you get an added dose of beta-carotene and anthocyanin.

Image: Stephen Garcia/Flickr

“Cheddar Cheese”, “Violetta Italia” or “Green Macerata” are some of the colorful varieties of cauliflower you can grow.

Next: More rainbow veggies

5. Corn

We all love fresh, sweet ears of yellow corn at a summer BBQ. However, popcorn and varieties grown for cornmeal are available in a plethora of fun colors, like this glass gem corn.

Image: Baker Creek Seeds

Glass gem corn is an heirloom popcorn with hues of palettes of blue, pink and green. You can get ornamental and “meal” corn in reds, blacks and multicolor combos.

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6. Beans

Beans are available in many colors, patterns and sizes. Whether it’s snap, shelled or dried beans, there’s a color and pattern to meet your tastes.

Image: Doug McAbee/Flickr

Hyacinth beans are a triple threat: Beautiful pods, foliage and flowers can be in full display at the same time. Some other pretty legumes to consider are Dragon Tongue bush beans, Purple Pod pole bean and Rouge von Paris bean.

7. Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes have been popular in the gardening world forever. More and more non-red varieties are making their way into grocery store produce departments. There are still hundreds that are only available through seeds and planting them on your own.

Image: Cuesa/Flickr

A green tomato doesn’t always mean that it’s unripe. This tomato variety has beautiful chartreuse skin with deep lime-green stripes. Its flesh is a brilliant green too. Some other fun varieties of striped tomatoes include pink berkeley tie dye, cosmic eclipse and copia

More: 5 easy tips to keep plants blooming longer

Next: More rainbow veggies

8. Pumpkins

There’s more to the winter squash family than orange pumpkins. Squash and gourds come in so many wonderful arrays of color combos, shapes and textures. Pumpkins are the most beloved of the winter squash variety. Try some of the unique types in your garden this year, like these blue pumpkins.

Image: Catherine/Flickr

Very few plants are blue in color. The blue boy pumpkin, also known as Australian Blue or Jarrahdale, are more of a grayish or slate blue color. They feature a classic “Cinderella” pumpkin shape with a sweet orange flesh. Some other fun pumpkin varieties include: Kobucha, Casper and Tiger.

9. Potatoes

Just like winter squash, potatoes (sweet and regular) are available in many different colors and shapes.

Image: Abingdon Farmers Market/Flickr

Blue potatoes are more of a deep purple in color with a purple flesh. The cool thing about these potatoes is that they hold their pretty color when cooked. As with most vegetables and fruit with deep colors, blue potatoes are high in antioxidants. Here are some other pretty potatoes to consider: Yellow Fin, Purple Peruvian and Cranberry Red.

10. Swiss chard

Swiss chard is the same species as beets but only grown for its leaves rather than the roots. The foliage is gorgeous and delicious, and the stalks come in a rainbow of colors.

Image: Dave Fisher/Flickr

Swiss chard is available in white, yellow and reds (pink). They are easy to grow and do well in cool weather. Plant these babies in your fall and early spring garden for a pop of color.

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