There are amazing and unique compounds found in all different fruits and vegetables from all different colors of the rainbow. Each of these unique compounds provides our cells with the nutrients needed to make our bodies function optimally.
Why Eat the Colors of the Rainbow:
Red (red apples, watermelon, strawberries, red grapes, raspberries, beets, red potatoes, radishes)– are colored by a natural plant pigment called “lycopene” or “anthocyanins”. Lycopene has been found to reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease, by protecting our cells from damage. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that also protect our cells for damage. Several of these fruits and vegetables are high in Vitamin C, which aids in the prevention of illness and boosts our immune system. Overall, foods from this group are disease fighters!
Orange/Yellow (carrots, sweet potatoes, orange bell pepper, oranges, lemons, squash, peaches, pineapple)– colored by plant pigments called “carotenoids”. Scientists have found that carotenoid-rich foods can reduce risk of certain cancers, heart disease and improve the function of our immune system. Several of these foods are rich in Vitamin A, which is important for the health of our eyes, skin, hair and mucous membranes. Foods in this group can improve the ability to learn and remember.
Blue/Purple (purple grapes, plums, blackberries, blueberries, raisins, figs, eggplant, red onion) – colored by plant pigments called “anthocyanins” which help protect our cells from damage, keep our brain healthy and offer us some protection from Alzheimer’s disease. These powerful antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, can help us feel younger and aid in our thinking and learning.
White (bananas, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, parsnips)– colored by the pigments “anthoxanthins” and may contain health promoting “allicins” by helping to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and decrease risk of heart disease and stomach cancer. Some foods in this group like potatoes and bananas are very high in potassium.
Green (green apples, green grapes, kiwi, green bell pepper, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, avocados)– colored by the plant pigment called “chlorophyll”, foods from this group contain high amounts of phytochemicals which are good for eye sight and a healthy heart. A compound called “indoles” found in broccoli and cabbage may protect against cancer.
How to start eating more vegetables and fruits:
Start by shopping the outer perimeter of your grocery store. This is where all the fruits and vegetables are stocked!
Visit a farmer’s market for organic, local and in-season fruits and vegetables
Buy large quantities of organic frozen fruits and veggies that might not be in season.
Be adventurous and try something new!
People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet have reduced risk of chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders, IBS, IBD, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, stroke, cancers, Diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Not to mention, they are nutrient-dense, high in fiber and great for weight management, boosting immune and promoting healthy digestion (no more gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux).