Eating different colours of vegetables is not just to make the plate look pretty. However when things look more appetizing we are more likely to enjoy the dish in front of us. By incorporating a variety of colours you are giving your body vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals enormous healing powers.
Often we have certain vegetables that we keep in rotation perhaps that's what we know how to prepare or those are the ones that you, and your kids and family enjoy. Our bodies need variety for optimal health and to gain nutrients from the rainbow. Eating a rainbow isn't just for kids, adults alike need diversity in our diets. Each color in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun’s harmful rays, and other threats.
Let's look at the different colours and the benefits you can get
We are going to compare the nutrition you receive from different colours of foods and the phytonutrients that will help your body function at its best.
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Red fruits and vegetables get their colour from an important phytonutrient lycopene or anthocyanins. According to studies and research on lycopene, it has found have some cancer fighting properties, prevent heart disease, reduce risk of diabetes, just to name a few.. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that protect or cells from damage.
Try these Red Vegetables and Fruits to get some vitamin C, boost your immunity and help prevent illness:
Red peppers Cherries
Strawberries Red Onions
Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables get their colour from carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth. Eating vegetables and fruits of this shade can help improve immune function and also reduce the risk of heart disease. They are really high in vitamin C.
Foods in this group can also help you learn and remember, so make sure you add them to the grocery list.
Oranges Golden Beets
Carrots Orange and Yellow Peppers
Sweet potatoes Pineapple
Yellow summer squash Winter squash (butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn)
Green Fruits and Vegetables
Green vegetables get their colour from the plant pigment chlorophyll. They are one of the healthiest foods we can eat that are high in lutein and vitamin K, which is good for blood and bone health. They will help boost the immune system, help detox the body, and restore energy and vitality. Green vegetables are also high in folate which is needed by pregnant women. Greens like kale have been said to increase mood.
Try this green vegetables to get the many benefits offered.
Kale Swiss chard
Romaine lettuce Arugula
Collard greens Green beans
Brussels sprouts Peas
Green grapes Zucchini
Green apples Kiwi fruit
Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Blue and Purple Fruits are coloured by plant pigments called anthocyanins,which help protect our cells from damage. They help keep our brain healthy and may offer us some protection from Alzheimer’s disease. They powerful antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep us young.
Try adding these to your diet
Red (purple) grapes Prunes
Red (purple) cabbage Figs
White and Brown Fruits and Vegetables
This group is coloured by the pigments anthoxanthins. They may not be bright in colours but are a healthy choice and have phytonutrients. These can help to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and decrease risk of heart disease. Some foods in this group like potatoes are very high in potassium.
These vegetables keep bones strong and are a healthy choice
Onions Daikin Radish