A plate laden with fruits, vegetables, fresh leafy greens, spruced up with spices, and sprin...
A plate laden with fruits, vegetables, fresh leafy greens, spruced up with spices, and sprinkled with other enhancements like cocoa and carob powder, beautiful edible hibiscus flowers, and a myriad of other colorful foods make it look quite appealing. Not only do these combinations brighten up a meal by rendering it attractive, but gives you a multitude of essential nutrients your body needs while they are simply infused in your diet. Did you know that the color or pigment natural food contains can give you a good idea as to the nutrition it holds? A diet comprised of various kinds of fruits and vegetables along with other plants possessing intense pigmentation are known to produce an abundance of phytonutrients or a rainbow of plant nutrients which promote overall wellness. These important nutrients are likewise capable of giving your body protection against diseases and act as an anti-aging substance.
Phytonutrients are vast in number as it goes beyond what we already know, and more and more are continuously discovered over time. They are highly beneficial for a person's health, such as giving the body much-needed energy and bestowing longevity. However, these tend to get damaged, destroyed, or significantly reduced during cooking, making it best to consume plant food raw whenever possible. Moreover, turning it into something fun and exciting like making smoothies or a similarly refreshing drink! Perhaps the best way to ensure you receive your daily dose is by having a glass of rich, colorful plant food with a unique twist of your very own blends. Discover the rainbow of phytonutrients that will make your days colorful by putting you in your best shape!
RED: The nutrients commonly associated with this vibrant color are the red carotenoids including lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin which functions to protect your eyesight. Lycopene is widely recognized for preventing prostate cancer in men, and those who are fond of eating tomatoes and foods that are tomato-based are put at a lower risk.
Red foods are chock-full of anthocyanins- pigments that may appear red, blue or purple, depending on the pH of food. It's usually found in grapes and berries, red onion, red cabbage, sweet potato, eggplant, and cayenne pepper. Anthocyanins help protect the boy's systems as an antioxidant, strengthens blood vessels, fights chronic inflammation, provide allergy relief, aid in cancer prevention, among many other great benefits.
The other nutrients held by red food are:
resveratrol - found in concentrated amounts in the skin of dark-red grapes and blueberries
ellagic acid - contained in pomegranates, red raspberries or strawberries
quercetin - anticarcinogenic agents with anti-inflammatory properties and are found in Red Delicious apples in high concentrations
Recommended red foods to incorporate in your diet: pink and red grapefruit, cranberries, goji berries, hibiscus tea, sweet red peppers, watermelon, and cherries.
GREEN: This pertains to foods that make up the majority of the rainbow of pigments, flourishing with green chlorophyll which are likewise great sources of vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and beta-carotene.
Like red foods, the green ones possess the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in plentiful amounts that aid in eye protection, especially against macular degeneration. Quercetin is also found in kale and broccoli.
Essential phytonutrients that boost good health are found in rich greens including chlorella, wild blue-green algae, spirulina, barley grass, alfalfa grass, and wheat grass.
Green foods contain sulforaphane's and indoles regarded as the most effective cancer-fighting nutrients. These are found in high concentrations in certain foods like arugula, collard greens, cabbage, mustard greens, brussels sprouts, and watercress.
BLUE and PURPLE: Now, this may seem rare, for how often do you eat blue or purple food? But when you do, you're bound to realize that these uniquely colored foods they are the most flavorful of all!
Just like foods possessing the red pigment, they are rich in anthocyanins, ellagic acid, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, and anticarcinogenic agents.
Recommended foods with blue and purple pigments can actually be easily acquired. Blueberries are the most quickly recognizable, but you can get rich amounts of phytonutrients from these colors of the rainbow from blackberries, bilberries, huckleberries, strawberries, raspberries in red and black, red and purple plums and prunes, grapes that come in either red, purple, or black, and raisins. You can also come up with a meal infused with purple potatoes, cabbage, and eggplant, spirulina, and wild blue-green algae.
ORANGE and YELLOW: Most orange and yellow-colored foods are carotenoids, which contain potent anti-inflammatory agents such as alpha- and beta-carotene, which are eventually converted into vitamin A the body needs. The important mineral potassium is found in both pigments while lutein that's essential for eye health arrives in high concentrations mostly in yellow foods. Limonene, a powerful immune system enhancer, helps protect against cancer and is typically contained in citrus fruits.
Recommended foods with intense orange and yellow pigments best added into your diet include carrots, citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruit and lime, apricots, cantaloupes, and peaches.yellow and orange peppers, and mangoes.
WHITE: White foods contain the quercetin phytonutrient like those in red foods, with the same anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties, and are mainly found in apples. The important phytonutrients linked to foods that exhibit the white pigment are the allyl sulfides, basically found in radishes, chives, cauliflower, scallions, leeks, garlic, and onions. The said foods altogether elicit antibacterial, antiviral, antihypertensive, antiparasitic properties at some degree and act as antioxidants. Garlic, containing the allicin phytonutrient, is deemed to be the most potent.
BROWN: Ah, the color of chocolate! Being a health food, this delicious treat is filled with the most potent and protective nutrients, which delightfully means the more reason to indulge in it! It has flavonols- a type of antioxidant flavonoid, which prevent fat-like substances within the bloodstream from becoming clogged in the arteries. It helps protects the heart, relax blood vessels that can result to a lower blood pressure, and prevent blood vessels from getting damaged. Carob is another kind of brown-colored food which may have fewer antioxidants, but has high concentrations of minerals, fiber, and B vitamins that help you get energized throughout the day!