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Nature has an ingenious way of highlighting the nutrients in plants. Each colour signifies different nutrients that are beneficial for our bodies. By eating an array of colourful fruits and vegetables, you can provide your body with everything it needs. Consuming a rainbow of different coloured vegetables and fruits is a balanced way to eat. It isn’t just another fad diet like only eating white or the grapefruit diet. Our bodies require a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and phytochemicals to stay productive, and nature has colour coded them for us. Why is that so important? As per the National Health and Nutrition Review Survey, 80 % of people in the US do not eat sufficient of any of the phytochemicals required for good health. People prefer to regularly consume the food they want and lose out on various health benefits associated with eating a wide selection of fruits and vegetables. The best way to ensure you eat what you need is to consume a rainbow and get two servings a day from each colour group.
Here we explore the benefits of a varied, colourful diet. So let’s start our RAINBOW journey:
Red fruits and vegetables are a natural powerhouse for nutrients and benefits. They are known to contain phytochemicals – such as lycopene and ellagic acid. Red foods offer cancer-fighting properties that may decrease the risk of diabetes and heart failure and a myriad of other features. A moderate intake of tomato sauce was said to counteract the growth of prostate cancer. Watermelon is even higher in lycopene than tomatoes, so lycopene could be more bioavailable. Strawberries are also said to inhibit and even cure oesophageal cancer.
Some examples of Healthy Red foods to try:
Three of the most popular carotenoids – alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin–can be transferred from food to vitamin A in the body. This nutrient is essential for good vision in low light, cognitive development, a robust immune system, and maintaining the skin and cells that line the respiratory tract, the digestive tract, and the urinary tract safe. However, due to their antioxidant activity, there is also evidence suggesting that carotenoids, particularly beta carotene, found in orange and yellow foods –may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, particularly lung cancer. Citrus fruits and their juices are often full phytochemical hesperidin, which may guard against heart disease, and tangerine, which may prevent head and neck cancer.
Some examples of Healthy Orange & Yellow foods to try:
Green coloured fruit and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are super-wealthy in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K, which are vital for the protection of the blood and bones. Leafy green vegetables revolve around antioxidants and folates: a vitamin that is particularly valuable to pregnant women. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, have been shown to enhance immune function. In contrast, dark leafy greens, such as kale, may improve mood. Kiwi fruit has been shown to help cure a wide variety of infections, from common colds to insomnia, and can also help repair DNA damage. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, methi, and kale are well known for their valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a great source of vitamin K that helps protect the arteries and facilitate healthy blood clotting. They are also rich in dietary nitrates, which have proved to lower blood pressure. They also help to minimize arterial stiffness and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessel. Some studies have also identified a correlation between increasing the consumption of leafy green vegetables and a reduced risk of heart disease. One survey of eight studies showed that increasing abundant green vegetable consumption correlated with a 16% lower heart disease occurrence. Another research in 29,689 people found that high consumption of leafy green vegetables was associated with a slightly reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
Some examples of Healthy Green foods to try:
Blue and purple foods contain anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Fruits – the darker, the more potent – contain phytochemicals that heal stress and inflammation damage. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are high in phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and resveratrol, and are known for their anticancer and anti-aging effects. Studies show that bioactive phytochemicals in berries function to repair oxidative stress and inflammation damage. This low-calorie vegetable is a part of the Mediterranean diet.
Some examples of Healthy Blue & Purple foods to try:
White and brown foods may not be as bright as the other foods, but they still provide healthy alternatives and phytonutrients. Like broccoli, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable high in an anticancer compound called sulforaphane. Garlic and onions are part of the allium family of vegetables and contain potent cancer-fighting compounds allicin and quercetin. Garlic and onions are members of the allium family of vegetables that contain potent allicin, which quercetin compounds that help minimizes the risk of cancer and have anti-inflammatory effects. Selenium – present in mushrooms – plays a crucial function in strengthening the immune system.
Some examples of Healthy White & Brown foods to try:
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