Each different coloured food contains unique health components
Fruit and vegetables are bursting with benefits for you and your family, so it is important to know how each ‘group’ contributes to your long term health.
Fruit and veg are very important to our health because they are whole foods that are rich in a large amount of nutrients. By eating fruit and vegetables of a variety of different colours, you can get the best all-around health benefits. Each different coloured food contains unique health components that are essential to our health.
Red and purple
Red and purple fruits and vegetables contain lycopene that helps rid the body of damaging free radicals, protect against prostate cancer, as well as heart and lung disease.
These brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants thought to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots and may also delay the aging of cells in the body.
They often also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. Compounds in these fruits and vegetables also help keep your vision and immune system healthy and limit your risk for urinary tract infections.
Examples: Tomatoes, red peppers, raspberries, rhubarb & strawberries.
White foods contain properties that have anti-tumour qualities, such as allicin in onions as well as other health-improving antioxidants such as the flavanoids. The white foods, bananas and potatoes, contain potassium as well.
White fruits and vegetables get their colour from polyphenol compounds with antioxidant properties which may help lower your risk for heart disease and cancer.
These foods may also be good sources of potassium, vitamin C, folate, niacin and riboflavin. Studies have also found that consuming more white fruits and vegetables may lower your risk for strokes.
Examples: Bananas, cauliflower, potatoes, parsnips & turnips.
Orange and yellow
The compounds that give orange and yellow fruits and vegetables their colour are called carotenoids. Carotenoids may help improve your immune function and lower your risk for heart disease, vision problems and cancer. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid that your body uses to create vitamin A. Folate, potassium, bromium and vitamin C are also often found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Examples: Carrots, lemons, oranges, yellow peppers & pineapple.
Green foods contain chemicals that help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. Chlorophyll is the component that makes plants green, and is purifying in the body. Many green foods also contain calcium and minerals.
Some of these fruits and vegetables also contain indoles, which may lower your risk for cancer, and lutein, which helps prevent problems with your vision. Other common nutrients in many of these fruits and vegetables include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.
Examples: Kale, spinach, asparagus, cucumbers & kiwi fruit.
Blue, Indigo and Violet
Blue, indigo and violet foods contain the compound anthocyanins that not only give food their colour but also have been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and increase heart health.
Examples: Blueberries, blackberries, raisins, plums & prunes.