Sunday, October 23, 2022

Orange: The Color of Autumn!


Orange: the color of Autumn. How fitting that Autumn is also the season for delicious Florida Fruit Shippers premium oranges, the only fruit (well, besides blueberries) named for its vibrant, healthy, color!

Orange is a unique and welcoming color, the merging of the primary colors red and yellow. However, while all of these colors are considered to be in the "warm" category (versus blues, purples and greens, which are considered "cool,"), orange also elicits feelings of comfort and nourishment.  And, of course, it is also a dominant color associated with the changing of the leaves in Fall. Here in Florida, we don't have much in the way of Fall foliage, but we sure do have a lot of delicious oranges!

Orange and Color Psychology

Most of us would acknowledge that colors can affect our emotions, and many of us have favorite colors that can even change from day to day, depending on our circumstances. Psychologists agree, and in fact a lot of research has shown that colors can help us in times of stress or trauma. If we are feeling blue or depressed, the warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow can invigorate us. Orange is particularly effective, as it combines the bold, expressive energy of red with the lighter, brighter, and friendlier qualities of yellow. The combined effect makes orange a strong influence on us, eliciting feelings of comfort, warmth, security, and even appetite! In fact, orange has been proven to have such an effect on appetite that it is recommended that one should keep healthy orange foods in sight whenever we are tempted to eat cakes, cookies, or other unhealthy offerings, as we will naturally gravitate towards orange-colored foods.

The Color Orange in Autumn

The reason that the color orange is associated with Autumn also has a scientific connection.  The green leaves of trees are loaded with chlorophyll, the pigment compound that enables photosynthesis that makes the food for each tree. Interestingly, green is a soothing color, one shown by color psychologists to diffuse anxiety. This, plus the large amount of oxygen that trees exude, explain why we often feel so restored while spending time in the deep forest. In the Autumn, the shorter days and cooler temperatures signal temperate deciduous trees to stop their food-making process and prepare to go dormant. The same compounds that give color and nutrition to the oranges we love to eat -- carotenoids and flavonoids -- are exposed in these trees when the chlorophyll in their leaves begins to break down in preparation for winter. While leaves can also be red, yellow, and purple, orange tends to be the dominant color of Autumn, enhanced even more by the pumpkins we see for our pies and the oranges we buy for our ciders and snacking.

Orange--and Oranges--to the Rescue 

The warming and comforting effects of the color orange come just in time for the holidays, when tension levels in today's society tend to peak to their highest levels.  In addition to colder weather, sickness, and the mania of the season, our bodies are exposed to higher than usual levels of stimulation and stress.  Furthermore, since we know that orange can induce the appetite and there is an excess of food during the holidays, it's a great time of year to bring oranges into the picture: we will be tempted to snack on them versus the Halloween candy, and their vitamin C and water content will boost immune systems and cellular health. They are also an easy and decorative way to add more of the festive and nourishing orange color to our environs. Heck, you can even use oranges for Halloween decorations...but we'll cover that in detail in our next blog!

Till then, enjoy the season of Orange!


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