Wouldn’t it be rather boring if all foods were the same color?
There has to be a reason tomatoes are red, right? Have you ever wondered why foods are different colors? Most of us probably have at some point. The colors of some foods can be so vibrant, Mother Nature must be hiding something in them.
The colors of natural foods actually play an important role in our health. Each color offers unique ingredients that can give healing and support to our bodies. So, lets take a look at these colors and see what they do.
When you see these colors, I want you to think: anti-aging, a reduced risk of heart and cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers, arthritis, high blood pressure, dementia, reduction in inflammation and a big boost to your immune system. The list of health benefits just keeps going.
The Benefits of the Five Colors of the Vegetative World
The five color categories are blue/purple, green, white, yellow/orange, and red. These colors identify unique antioxidants and chemicals that have powerful health promoting properties. Each color makes a unique contribution to our health and provides a lower risk of developing chronic diseases. Many vegetables come in multiple colors such as carrots, cauliflower, Swiss chard and asparagus. This means multiple benefits!
BLUE/PURPLE foods contain anthocyanin’s.
These foods are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins. They are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and lower the risk of some cancers. They also promote urinary tract health, help with memory function, and support healthy aging. Studies show eating blueberries may help slow or prevent dementia.
Some food sources:
- Purple grapes
GREEN foods contain chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin and sulforaphanes.
These foods improve immune function, lower the risk of some cancers, protect against aging, promote vision health, and support strong bones and healthy teeth. Some members of the green group, including spinach and other dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber and celery, contain lutein. Lutein works with another antioxidant, zeaxanthin, to keep eyes healthy. As you can see, nutrients from natural foods work together to build healthy bodies!
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables contain “indoles” which may help protect against some types of cancer.
Some food sources:
- Green apples
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Green cabbage
- Green grapes
- Honeydew melon
- Green onions
- Green pepper
WHITE foods contain anthoxanthins and allicin.
White foods contain the antioxidant anthoxanthins. Onions, garlic and shallots also may contain health-promoting compounds such as allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Bananas and potatoes, are also rich sources of the mineral potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte that is critical for nerve and heart health.
Some food sources are:
Make it a habit to eat from nature’s rainbow everyday. It will do your body good!
Part II next!
For part 2 of Why is an Orange Orange? click here.