Did you know that the color of each fruit and vegetable is unique and benefits our health in different ways?
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white—all of these colors are nature’s way of speaking to us. These plant-powered foods have the ability to fight off chronic inflammation, disease and unwanted oxidation while boosting your body’s performance inside and out.
Beautiful, colorful whole foods are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals, colors that keep our bodies in peak form and, most importantly, keep our immune system strong. When our bodies are deprived of these plant-based micronutrients we start to expose ourselves to sickness, infections and a variety of opportunistic cancers.
Eating foods with a colorful, high-nutrient density will not only keep your immune system firing on all cylinders but may surprise you in how it benefits so many other components, essential to your health, that you never thought about.
Let’s take a look at these colors and what they can do for you.
Red: These contain nutrients such as quercetin, Lycopene, ellagic acid and more that can help reduce tumor growth, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, arthritis, reduce the risk of prostate cancer and help get rid of harmful free radicles. Apples, cherries, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, red grapes, beets.
Orange and Yellow: These contain the powerful beta-carotene, flavonoids, potassium, vitamin C and lycopene, nutrients that help produce collagen formation, fight off harmful free radicals, lower LDL cholesterol, help with alkaline balance, lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration, lower prostate cancer risk, and help work with calcium and magnesium to build healthy bones. Oranges, carrots, yellow peppers, kumquats, sweet potatoes, yams,
Green: You can’t beat the greens for overall health with kale scoring 100 on the nutrient density scale. Greens contain chlorophyll, calcium, fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein. They alkalize your body, normalize your digestion, fight harmful free radicles, support retinal and eye health and boost your immune cell activity. Kale, dark green lettuces, collard greens, spinach, green bell peppers, broccoli.
Blue and Purple: These nutrients contain reservatrol (also found in red wine), vitamin C, quercetin, fiber and flavonoids. They help improve the absorption of calcium and minerals, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, help limit the activity of cancer cells in the digestive track, lower LDL cholesterol and boost the immune system. Blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, plums, prunes.
White: These contain powerful nutrients, among them beta–glucans and lignans that help provide powerful support to the immune system. They also help balance our hormone levels and reduce the risk of hormone-related diseases such as breast cancer and prostate cancer by doing what comes naturally: activating our killer B and T cells. Onions, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, jicama, cauliflower.
The next time you plan a meal, adding Mother Nature’s rainbow of choices to your plate provides endless benefits to your health and beauty, inside and out.
Lisa Fallon Mindel, HHP, AADP, is a qualified holistic health and nutrition Coach as well as a model and triathlete. She counsels people on how to effectively reach their health, nutrition and wellness goals. With her personalized step-by-step program and support, reaching goals is enjoyable and lifelong.
Article published in the Topanga Messenger