By Brandi Aurelio
Our world is undeniably fast paced today. We want it all and we want it now. Running from meeting to meeting, event to event, it’s no wonder we choose things like fast food for our meals. But it is important to slow down and put our health first. We only get one body so we have to treat it right! That includes nourishing it with what we eat. It is so important to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables daily. Each color of food contains different vitamins and minerals and helps our body in unique ways. Food Revolution Network explains why it is crucial to “eat your colors”.
Foods that have a red color contain something called phytochemicals, chemical compounds produced by plants. These phytochemicals, including lycopene, ellagic acid, and citrulline, possess cancer fighting effects. Red foods have also been known to decrease blood pressure and strengthen your joint tissue. They’re good for your heart too!
Red foods to eat:
Red peppers, watermelon, tomato sauce, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, apples, cranberries, cherries, grapes, red onions, pomegranates, and beets.
Yellow and Orange
These foods are rich in vitamin C which is great for immune health! These fruits and veggies contain carotenoids, which are orange and yellow pigments that are produced by plants. Some can convert to vitamin A, and promotes better vision and cell growth. Beta-carotene is one of those carotenoids. Citrus fruits contain hesperidin which increases blood flow, which is helpful for people who are always chilly like me! Citrus can also reduce the risk of strokes.
Yellow and Orange foods to eat:
Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, papaya, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, peaches, corn, cantaloupe, peppers, and pineapple.
Green foods are among some of the healthiest foods out there. They are packed with antioxidants and are high in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K. These are essential for blood and bone health, as well as good vision and healthy skin. They are also rich in folate. This is especially useful for women who are pregnant because it can prevent congenital disabilities. Some are also known to enhance your immune system and can even improve your mood. Some greens have also been shown to help with the common cold, IBS, and even insomnia.
Green foods to eat:
Green grapes, edamame, avocado, broccoli, kale, peas, zucchini, kiwi, romaine, collard greens, brussel sprouts, green apples, spinach, arugula, green beans, and asparagus.
Blue and Purple
Blue and purple fruits and veggies are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants. These include anthocyanins and resveratrol. These are known for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. Berries are also known to repair damage from stress and inflammation. These foods can also improve memory and improve heart health.
Blue and purple foods to eat:
Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, red cabbage, eggplant, plums, prunes, and figs.
White foods still contain phytonutrients even though they lack pigment. They are rich in anti-cancer properties called sulforaphane, allicin, and quercetin. They may also help lower blood pressure and your risk of heart disease.
White foods to eat:
Cauliflower, bananas (the actual fruit is white, only the peel is yellow), garlic, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, radishes (again, the flesh is white) parsnips, and jicama.