Why You Should Eat the Rainbow When It Comes to Fruits and Vegetables?
We all know that eating more fruits and vegetables is important to good health. For some reason, people resist eating the healthy jewels found in the produce aisle at the grocery store. With a little attitude adjustment, eating fruits and vegetables becomes easier. Think of healthy produce as eating a beautiful rainbow of color.
Summer is the perfect time to start increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables. Produce stands start popping up along the roadside. Farmers markets start coming to town with their harvest of fresh, locally grown food.
Roadside stands are a convenient place to purchase a healthy rainbow of food. Drive, or walk, right up to the stand, and pick out some of the finest, freshest food available.
Why Are Fruits and Vegetables So Many Different Colors?
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. These colorful gems are also rich in substances called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are what make produce colorful. Scientists are still sorting out the synergistic actions of phytochemicals.
There appear to be beneficial chemical reactions that occur from food. So far, science has not been able to duplicate the healthy synergistic actions through supplements. What this means is that the whole food is a better source of whole nutrients than supplements.
It’s easier than you might think to add fruits and vegetables to the diet. Dietary guidelines mention a minimum of anything from six to ten servings daily. This may sound daunting if your idea of a vegetable serving is a leaf of lettuce on your hamburger, but it’s not as hard to do as it might sound.
A serving of fruits and vegetables may be smaller than you imagine, meaning that what you may see as a single serving maybe two servings of healthy food. A serving size is one cup of raw or one-half cup of cooked food.
The Health Benefits of a Colorful Diet
Start increasing the rainbow of fruits and vegetables in your diet by adding them to meals and using them as snacks. Eventually, you might start reaching for the colorful gems without even think about it.
Make it fun by eating as many of the rainbow colors as you can in a day. This will make sure that you eat a variety of nutrients, all with different benefits. Following are fruits and vegetables for the colors of the rainbow:
Children might enjoy making a game of eating a rainbow of foods, by keeping track of how many colors they can eat in one day, maybe even replacing high calories snack food with healthy treats.
Red and Deep Pink Foods Reduce the Risk of Certain Cancers
Red and Deep Pink Fruits and Vegetables are rich in vitamin C, anthocyanins, and lycopene. Lycopene may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer along with various others. Anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that help protect cells from damage and protect our hearts as well.
Examples of Healthy Red and Deep Pink Fruits to Try:
- blood oranges,
- cactus pears,
- pink grapefruit,
- strawberries, and watermelon.
Examples of Healthy Red and Deep Pink Vegetables to Try:
- kidney beans,
- red onions,
- red peppers,
- red bean,
- red cabbage,
- red lentils
- tomato juice,
- and V8 juice.
Green foods Help to Preserve Vision
Green foods are rich in Carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants eating up free radicals. When these two chemicals work together, they help keep your eyes in good health.
These reduce your risk of developing cataracts and other eyes problems. Antioxidants also help to preserve vision.
These fruits and vegetables get their colorful green appearance from a pigment called chlorophyll. This is found in various fruits and vegetables including oranges, corn, and egg yolks.
Examples of Healthy Green Fruits to Try:
- green apples,
- green grapes,
- honeydew melon,
Examples of Healthy Green Vegetables to Try:
- broccoli rabe,
- Brussels sprouts,
- cactus pads,
- chayote squash,
- Chinese cabbage,
- Chinese long beans,
- chipotle chilies,
- green beans,
- green onions,
- green peppers,
- mustard greens,
- poblano chilies,
- snap peas,
- snow peas,
- and zucchini.
Yellow and Orange Foods Improve the Function of your Immune System
Yellow and Orange Foods are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A. This helps your body maintain healthy mucous membranes and eyes.
It can improve the function of your immune system. Yellow and Orange Foods may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease as well. They also contain Vitamins C, E, and Folate.
Examples of Healthy Yellow and Orange Fruits to Try :
- Asian pears,
- Clementine’s, golden delicious apples,
- lemons Mandarin oranges,
- nectarines, o
- Pepino melon,
- star fruit,
- and yellow raisins.
Examples of Healthy Yellow and Orange Vegetables to Try:
- butternut squash,
- golden nugget squash,
- spaghetti squash,
- summer squash,
- sweet dumpling squash,
- and sweet potatoes.
Blue and Purple foods Defend Against Carcinogens
Blue and Purple foods have flavonoids and anthocyanins. It may defend against carcinogens. They are rich in Vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium.
These fruits and vegetables get their coloration from anthocyanins, which act as powerful antioxidants to protect cells. It help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and disease.
Blue and Purple foods also improve memory function and healthy aging.
Examples of Healthy Blue and Purple Fruits to Try:
- passion fruit,
- dried plums,
- purple grapes,
- and raisins.
Examples of Healthy Blue and Purple Vegetables to Try:
- blue corn,
- purple asparagus,
- purple cabbage,
- and purple new potatoes.
White foods Deduces Blood Pressure And Cholesterol
These foods have allicin, which reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, which increasing immunity. Fruits and vegetables of this color have pigments called anthoxanthins, which contain allicin. This is a chemical that can reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Some also provide a good source of potassium.
Examples of Healthy White Fruits to Try:
- Manzano bananas,
- and plantains.
Examples of Healthy White Vegetables to Try
- scallions shallots,
- and water chestnuts.
Reach for these colorful rainbow foods for snacks and at mealtime, for a variety of nutrients to boost health.