Many people find it interesting to fill their plate with many colorful food items. Yet, the significance of the nutrient content escapes them entirely. We should have some idea of why some food have a colorful demeanor while others are not so colorful. You can read about that here.
While you can gauge the contents of the food by its colour, the colour does not give a true picture. It means two similar coloured vegetables might have different properties and ingredients.
In general, you can see the colour of the foods are phytochemicals. These work synergistically with the nutrients such as the vitamins and minerals to give the food its full value.
Find how colorful diet improve your health
Blue and purple colored food
When you have anthocyanins in the food, they exhibit a red or purple hue. Anthocyanins are antioxidants since they fight free radicals. They help prevent clot formation and support a healthy blood pressure.
Some examples include plums, prunes, blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, and grapes. The chemicals in these food items help lower the risk for cancer.
Plums are high in Vitamin B that helps us metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also has Vitamin K that is helpful for bone health. Blackberries are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin K and antioxidants.
Blueberries are high in fibre. Other than that, they have antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. It helps maintain your cholesterol level and improve urinary health.
The brain activity improves when you have blueberries regularly. Eggplant has fibre, and Vitamin C. It also has calcium and phosphorus that is good for bone health.
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Orange and yellow coloured food
We find plenty of beta-carotene that has antioxidant character. The other chemicals are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, which undergoes conversion inside the body into Vitamin A.
Some of the food might have elevated levels of Vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids. Examples of this type of food are baked sweet potato, pumpkins, mangos, and carrots. They are good for bone health and boosts the immune system of the body. Eating orange and yellow coloured food will make your skin healthy and supple.
Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods we can eat. It has antioxidants, fibre, iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They promote immunity and improve the health of the skin. The risk of cancer is decreased.
Oranges are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. This helps increase our immunity and heart health. The skin tone improves. Oranges also have magnesium and fibre. They improve our digestion and give strength to our bones.
Carrots are high in Vitamin A that helps improve our skin integrity. The beta-carotene improves the immune system and reduces the chances of skin cancer.
Peaches have plenty of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E. They also have plenty of fibre. They help prevent cellular damage and improve digestion. Peaches help reduce the inflammation in the body.
Green coloured food
The green colour is due to the chlorophyll and phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates and indoles. The other nutrients present in green vegetables include folic acid, Vitamin K, potassium, moega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids.
Examples of these food items include broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Folic acid helps prevent the birth defects in babies. The cruciferous vegetables have an inverse relationship with cancers, especially of the colon and bladder.
Sulforaphane, a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables has the property of detoxifying cancer-causing chemicals. So, it will do good to add more bok choy and Brussel sprouts to your diet.
Broccoli is high in iron and calcium. You can strengthen the muscles, bones, and teeth. Spinach has Vitamin K and antioxidants. It helps strengthen the bones. Other green fruits and vegetables include celery, green beans, Brussels sprouts cucumbers, leeks, and leafy greens.
Red colored food
The reddish colour in fruits and vegetables is due to the lycopene. This pigment is a powerful antioxidant and helps in thwarting some powerful cancers especially prostate cancer.
They also provide protection against heart attacks. Examples of this type of food include tomatoes, watermelon fruit, pink grapefruit, and cranberries.
Red bell peppers are rich in fibre and Vitamin C. Some of the nutrients such as Vitamin C might be lost when you cook the vegetable. But, lycopene increases through cooking.
Beets has all this and more in the form of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. They augment digestive health, fight the incidence of heart disease, helps decrease inflammation and improve general metabolic activity.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant. They help prevent cellular damage. Tomatoes decrease the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Cherries have good amounts of antioxidants.
They protect against heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and other related medical conditions. Tart cherries find use in reducing the inflammation in the body. They help relieve the pain from arthritis and gout.
Cranberries have antioxidants and proanthocyanidins. They deter the adherence of bacteria to the urinary tract. Further, they reduce inflammation in the body.
White food items
Most of the white food is refined, but there are some that are packed with health-giving nutrients. The benefits of white foods lie in lowering cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Further, they increase the immunity of the body. The lymph system is strengthened, and the cellular recovery begins.
Garlic is one of the most revered white foods. It helps boost the digestive system and protects against bacterial and fungal attacks. They augment the heart health and decreases cancer risk.
White onions are antimicrobial in nature just like garlic. This is due to the powerful sulphur bearing compounds. They help lower the blood sugar levels and improve heart health by lowering the cholesterol and the blood pressure. The flavonoid quercetin helps protect the cell and reduces the growth of tumours.
Cauliflower has powerful antioxidants. It has Vitamin C and manganese. The amount of Vitamin C is more than that present in an orange. It augments our immunity.
Coloured food items can decorate our dinner plate and make them look attractive. But, they contain some indispensable nutrients that our body needs. Keep eating coloured food items and get the benefits.