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Eating Across the Rainbow

All fruits and vegetables have a combination of different phytonutrient families and this nutrient profile determines what color they are.


Fruits and vegetables that have more vibrant colors tend to be richer in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.





Episode Summary

Where do the colors come from?

Phytochemicals come from different families and each family tends to represent a color. All foods have some type of combination.




Red

The color red is healthy for the heart, help with male fertility, prevent the aging of the skin, prevents diabetes and osteoporosis.

Examples: Watermelon, red peppers, tomatoes.


Yellow and Orange

Yellow and orange are great for eyesight.

Many of these vegetables also have high levels of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K. Examples: carrots, summer courgette, oranges, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers and squashes.


The other carotenes such as lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin are just a few of the carotenoids and are represented by yellow and orange-colored foods. All are anti-oxidants and may be helpful in preventing cancer.


Green

The chlorophyll in green cleanses and builds the blood, and helps detoxify the body. It helps promote good bacteria and is a major antioxidant. It supports the immune system and helps fight infection and may help protect against cancer.

Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants, but some great sources include green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, cilantro and wheat grass.


Purple, Blue and Black

Purple and blue may benefit brain health, lower inflammation, and fight cancer and heart diseases. They may also enhance calmness and improve your mood.

Examples: blueberries, red wine, grapes, purple sweet potatoes, purple cauliflower


The color black has major antioxidant properties and can help protect the blood, the brain, and the nervous system as well as support the growth of collagen and connective tissue. They also help protect eyesight and have heart-protective and cancer-preventative properties.

Examples: black beans, black sesame, black rice, blackberries.


Brown

The brown color has strong antioxidant properties. They're also great for the heart, may protect you from cancer and improve cognitive function.

Examples: tea, chocolate



Bottom line

Don’t agonize over the specific functions of each color!

By eating across the rainbow, you will naturally get a range of nutrients and meet your body's needs.

Try to be more experimental when it comes to food. Combine different colors on your plate every day.



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