Americans are eating fewer fruits and vegetables than ever before; at the same time, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are at all time highs. While you may be aware that health experts recommend eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, did you know that eating a colorful variety is proving to be equally important? That's because it is the mixture of antioxidants PLUS naturally-occurring phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that offer long term health protection against disease.
"Eating the rainbow' also helps prevent food boredom ( which can trigger emotional binge eating), reduces sweet cravings, and minimizes body fat storage. Read the Colorfood Chart below to see how many foods you can enjoy!
Colorfood Fruits and Vegetables, Phytochemicals and Their Benefits:
Sources: The American Cancer Society, The National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Color: Yellow/Orange: Carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mangoes, apricots, oranges, lemons, papaya, nectarines, yellow peppers
~ Phytochemicals: Beta-carotene, bioflavonoids
~Benefits: Boosts immune system, improves vision health, reduces risk of cancer and heart attacks, improves skin, bones, and teeth, and helps with ovulation regularity.
Color: Red: Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, beets, red apples (skin included), red grapes, red onion, radishes, red peppers, pomegranates
~Phytochemicals: lycopene, capsanthin, anthocyanins
~Benefits: Reduces risk of heart attack and diabetes, improves circulation and memory function, helps prevent breast, skin, and prostrate cancer, and helps control high blood pressure.
Color: White: Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, ginger, chives, mushrooms, apples, pears
Phytochemicals: Allicin, flavonols:
~Benefits: Boosts the immune system; helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure; reduces the risk of heart attack, may help prevent cancer cells from spreading.
Color: Green: Leafy greens, lettuces, green veggies such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
~Phytochemicals: Chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin, folate
~Benefits: Helps reduce vision impairment and macular degeneration, supports strong bones and teeth, reduces inflammation reduces the risk of cancer and tumor growth, aids in digestive regularity.
Color: Purple: Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, prunes, plums, raisins, figs, purple kale, eggplant
~Phytochemicals: Anthocyanin, quercetin, phenolics
~ Benefits: Reduces the rish of cancer and heart attacks, imporves longevity and protects against memory loss and cognitive dysfunction, and may support urinary tract health.
I will be posting some recipes this week that will help you get started on your colorful new life! Be sure to check back mid week! Remember, Folks, food determines how we feel and heal!
Additional Source for article: Crave Marketing