And the answer is yes! The color of fruits and vegetables will help determine what health benefits and nutrition is stored in the food. So to get a basic idea, you don’t need to despair – because fruits don’t usually have a nutrition guide/label like cereal or boxed food does – you can now see how healthy something is by just taking a gander at it. A healthy variety of colored fruits and vegetables are more important than you may think. Different colors contain different nutrients and pigments that can have panoply of benefits
These foods contain Lycopene –
Some examples of red fruit that contain these benefits (Note: fruits may show up in multiple color categories such as the banana, yellow on the outside and white on the portion that you’d normally consume):
• Tomatoes or To-mah-toes
These contain nutrients that promote retinal (eye) health, digestions, and boost your immune system. These also reduce and tumor growth. If you’re wondering what good cholesterol is, it is known as HDL cholesterol which decrease heart diseases when HDL level are high. When HDL levels are low, your chances of heart disease increase.
Blue and purple foods, including blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, plums and eggplant, are not only catching to the eye but also pleasing to the palate. This group of foods also gets its color from anthocyanins. The antioxidant power can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. These fruits also contain another color pigment known as an anthocyanin; they are antioxidants that help to prevent chronic diseases.
• Blackberries (not the phone)
• Plums dried/not
Yellow, Orange, and everything in between
These contain beta-carotene which will be converted into vitamin A after the yellow fruit enters your body. Yellow fruits and vegetables also contain lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and a few others. These will decrease the risks of prostate cancers and age-related macular degeneration, which is the loss of vision in older people due to damage to the retina. These ingredients complemented by healthy amounts of magnesium and calcium can help build stronger and healthier bones. They also lower blood pressure and LDL, while promoting healthy joints and collagen formation. Collagen is a group of proteins found that makes up anywhere between 25% and 35% of the protein in your body. It participates in your skin, tendons, muscles, cartilage, some internal organs and is even present in your teeth.
Where you can get these benefits:
• Bananas of course
• Pineapples (sorry Spongebob, but we need our beta-carotenes)
• Sweet corn
• Sweet potatoes
• Yellow tomatoes, yes really, go look for yourself. Because you can’t put images on Experts Column.
These bland looking foods contain many nutrients that boost immune activity such as EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate, which are found in many teas), SDG, beta-glucans, lignans (antioxidant found in plants and is chemically similar to estrogen), and allicin (which can lower cholesterol and blood pressure). These nutrients also support killer B and T cells, and can reduce risks of a variety of cancers. Such as colon, breast, prostate and hormone related cancers.
However, when a grain or wheat food is white it is often the result of refinement, which removes the much of the nutritional values (brans and germs) along with a lot of the dietary fibers. Such examples of these are white rice, white bread and white wheat.
• Garlic, they’re good for you as long as you’re not a vampire
• White nectarines
These edible plants contain the famous chlorophyll. It also contains fiber, calcium, vitamin C and beta-carotenes. Green vegetables and fruits also lower your blood pressure and LDL levels. These ingredients also help balance and ‘normalize’ digestion time, improve your vision and boost immune system activities. Leafy greens contain folate, a water soluble B vitamin that is important for healthy cells. Healthy doses of folate help reduce the risks of birth defects in pregnant women. Leafy greens also contribute to your fiber intake, which can keep you filled longer and can therefore help you loose weight.
• Green cabbages
• Snow peas
• Green onions
Now that you’re educated on the benefits of colored food – fruit roll-ups don’t count – you may never look at fruits and vegetables the same ever again. I know I can’t anymore thanks to education. At least now there’s a whole new meaning to taste the rainbow.