I've often wondered about natural food colors and such plans as 'The Rainbow Diet' emphasize the importance of color. Today's author makes it clear that it's a subject worth pondering.
Have you ever asked yourself why a lemon is yellow? Why a beet is that deep blood red? In fact, there is a relationship between the colors and what the foods do for us. The essential nutrients we need to stay healthy are also pigments that determine the colors of fruits and vegetables. The reaching implications of this are great. What this means is we can break our diet into categories of color based on shared benefits. Developed by Dr. David Heber, this makes up the color wheel diet.
Red. Includes beets, raspberries, red apples and cranberries to name a few. These red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene: a bright red carotene that fights cancer and ellagic acid, which is rich in antioxidants. Your cells naturally oxidize: a process that produces free radicals and can damage or kill your cells. Antioxidants inhibit this process increasing the longevity of your cells.
Orange and yellow. Foods such as apricots, lemon, carrots and pumpkin are in this group. These foods contain beta-carotene, which is a carotene that accounts for the color of these foods. Beta-carotene is also good for skin and eye health. This group is also packed with vitamin A and the immune boosting vitamin C.
Green. Any green vegetable or fruit such as artichokes, broccoli and avocados are included in this group. Green foods are high in glucosinates, which are noted for their detoxifying effects.
Purple and blue. Examples include blueberries, eggplant, pomegranates and purple cabbage. These foods contain flavonoids. Also known as vitamin P, flavonoids have been found to act as an anti-carcinogen, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
White. White foods include bananas, garlic, onions and ginger. These foods contain good immune boosting nutrients like beta-glucans. Beta-glucans increases the immune systems white blood cell count and also fight some cancers.
The chemicals discussed are considered phytonutrients, which means that they aren’t essential nutrients for survival; however, they fight diseases and promote longevity. The benefits of these phytonutrients are vast. They protect against macular degeneration, fight many cancers and help prevent strokes. A diet focused in part around these foods is also great for weight loss and heart disease.
It isn’t hard to sell a diet that includes fruits and vegetables. The science may be complex but the concept of this diet is simple. Each group respectively has its own benefits. Eat a variety of each color group, and eat a lot of them.