Nature is smarter than we think! Did you know that you can simply eat by colour to ensure you receive all essential nutrients? The popular saying, ‘Eat the Colours of the Rainbow’ really is true. Eating by colour is based on the fact that nutrients are represented by food colour so ensure you fill your plate with a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables.
The following provides an overview of each colour type:
Blue, purple and deep red fruits and vegetables comprise anthocyanins and proanthocyanins which are antioxidants associated with keeping the heart healthy and the brain functioning optimally. Examples include blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, plums, cranberries, grapes, radishes, raspberries and strawberries.
Green cruciferous vegetables provide compounds called indoles, isothiocyanates, carotenoids and saponins which assist in the production of enzymes that eliminate toxins from the body. Examples include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green cabbage and kale.
Orange fruit and vegetables contain alpha and beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A within the body to ensure healthy eyes, bones and immune system. Examples include apricots, rock melon, carrots, mango, oranges, papaya, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and mandarins.
Red fruits contain lycopene which is a phytochemical that may help protect against cancer and improve heart health. Examples include guava, pink grapefruit, red capsicum, tomatoes and watermelon.
Yellow fruit and vegetables are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin which are phytochemicals that accumulate in the eyes and help prevent age-related macular degeneration. Examples include corn, pineapple and squash.
White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.