Colour is not only something that creates beauty in our surroundings, it is also something that has health benefits. According to research, consuming a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables could be a fundamentally healthy way to eat.
There are five colours that are recommended in this “rainbow diet”. Comprising two fruit and three vegetables, colourful fruit and vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals that your body uses to maintain good health and energy levels.
Phytochemicals and other beneficial compounds in fruit and vegetables are what gives them their colour and this is why we should have a complete spectrum for good health and strong immunity.
Here are some top tips on how to introduce some colour into your diet.
- Blue and Purple
These colours are associated with phytochemicals such as anthocyanin and phenols which can reduce the risk of cancer, improve urinary tract health, boost memory function and reduce the effects of ageing.
Examples of such fruit and vegetables are blueberries, purple grapes, black currants, purple cabbage, eggplant and purple carrots.
Green fruit and veggies are associated with antioxidant properties which are said to reduce the risk of cancer, maintain healthy vision, strengthen teeth and bones. Examples of green fruit and vegetables are avocados, green apples, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, green pears, artichokes, broccoli, celery, cucumber, green onions, lettuce, spinach, peas, ladies finger and courgette.
3. White, Tan and Brown
Examples of these are bananas, white peaches, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions, potatoes and turnips. They contain phytochemicals such as Allicin (found in the garlic and onion family). White fruit and vegetables are especially good for heart health, maintain cholesterol levels, also lowers the risk of cancers.
4. Yellow and Orange
Yellow/ orange fruits and vegetables can be included by having yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges, papaya, peaches, grapefruit, lemon, mangoes, pineapples, yellow pears, orange carrots, yellow peppers, pumpkin and sweet corn. They have antioxidants such as Vitamin C, carotenoids and bioflavonoids needed for a healthy heart, vision health, a healthy immune system and lowers risk of cancers.
Red fruit and vegetables contain lycopene and anthocyanin which have health-enhancing properties. Examples include red apples, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, red pears, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, beetroot, red peppers, red radishes, red carrots and tomatoes. These have health benefits such as promoting heart health, boosting memory function, lowering the risk of cancers and for maintaining urinary tract health.
Consuming a wide variety of coloured fruit and vegetables have clear health benefits although it is important to note that these have to be coloured by nature – Not artificial colouring! Buy fresh and organic wherever possible!