Fruits and Vegetables, most of us should be eating more. What do the different colors mean and what are the nutrients and health benefits of the different colored fruit and vegetables?
Apart from sweets and cakes, foods that are strong and bright in color are normally healthy for us. These foods have high quantities of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they make us feel better, look better and live longer.
Eat foods that are all the colors of the rainbow. The health benefits differ depending on the color and the strength of the color. The fruit and vegetables that have the strongest or darker colors usually include the most nutrients and have the best health benefits.
The food color to avoid or limit
The most common and popular color in food is beige or pale yellow, as seen in chips/crisps, various bread products and pasta. These foods may taste good and they’re usually cheap, however they have very little nutritional value, they offer plenty of calories but little else. Because they have little nutritional value our bodies are not getting what it needs, so we continue to feel hungry which can lead to continuous eating which causes weight gain/increased body fat. Plus these low quality foods can damage us on the inside as well.
Why is color important in food?
There is a connection between the color of food and its nutritional value. It’s all down to phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemicals which develop naturally in plant life. These natural chemicals are believed to prevent disease and have general protective properties. These phytochemicals affect the color of these foods, the darker or richer the color of the fruit or vegetable the greater the amount of health promoting chemicals that are contained within them.
Fruit & Vegetable Colors
Green vegetables provide good levels of vitamin K and potassium, and they are known to be good for the liver and they contain anti cancer compounds.
These dark color fruits such as pomegranates and blackberries are well known for their high levels of Anthocyanins which are antioxidants.
Most red fruit and vegetables are known for their antioxidant and cancer preventative properties. High in vitamin C, they are also believed to help prevent against heart problems and heart attacks. Examples would be cranberries, tomatoes and red grapes.
High in vitamin C & A which is good for the skin, helping and preventing skin problems including anti aging properties. Vitamin C is also good for the immune system helping to prevent certain diseases. Oranges and Peppers have high levels of vitamin C. Carrots, Apricots and Melons have high levels of Vitamin A.