It may be fall but in every month we should focus on vibrant colors — in our food. We should taste the rainbow, and I don't mean Skittles.
For example, a fast-food burger and fries, along with a soft drink is virtually devoid of colors. But this meal has plenty of what you don't need: salt, simple carbohydrates, fat and an excessive amount of calories.
Nature has its way of providing us with what we need to thrive. In the leafy greens, root vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices, lie vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that is critical for good health. It's why nutritionists and dietitians urge us to eat a variety of foods.
An assortment of food also helps cut down the boredom. When the rest of our senses are pleased, food is more pleasurable. But we don't have to eat like birds while attempting to eat a colorful meal. Stir frys, soups, lean meats on a bed of greens, and sautéed vegetables can be both tasty and appealing to the eyes.
Most importantly, specific color groups have certain phytochemicals that provide our bodies with great health benefits such as reducing the risk of certain cancers.
|Color group||Phytochemicals||Benefits||Fruits and vegetables|
|Red||Lycopene||Keeps heart healthy||tomatoes|
|Vitamin E||Lowers risk of cancer||red peppers|
|Phytoene||Keeps memory strong||cherries|
|Phytofluene||Keeps bladder healthy||watermelon|
|Green||Lufein||Keeps eyes healthy||spinach|
|Zeaxanthin||Lowers risk of cancer||broccoli|
|Keeps bones and teeth strong||cucumbers|
|Yellow/Orange||Vitamin C||Lowers risk of cancer||carrots|
|Flavonoids||keeps heart healthy||sweet potatoes|
|Keeps eyes healthy||papayas|
|prevention from colds||yellow peppers|
|Blue/Purple||Flavonoids||Keeps memory strong||purple cabbage|
|Anthocyanins||Lowers risk of cancer||purple grapes|
|Ellagic acid||Keeps bladder healthy||eggplant|
|Lowers risk of cancer||blueberries|
|Slows effects of aging||raisins|
|White||Allyl sulfides||Keeps heart healthy||garlic|
|Maintains healthy cholesterol levelsr||onions|
|Lower risk of some cancers||ginger|