Why you should eat coloured fruit & vegetables every day.
Eat a Rainbow!
We challenge you to eat a rainbow everyday… not literally, but good luck in trying! It mean eat fruit & vegetables from each colour of the rainbow, every day.
Each colour boasts different phytonutrients, which are disease-fighting chemicals. Phytonutrients give fruit and vegetables their colour and provide health benefits.
The classification of fruit and vegetables may surprise you!
Red fruit and vegetables are coloured by the natural plant pigment lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant against toxins and pesticides. It supports your eyes, heart and helps to reduce the risk of cancer.
Red vegetables… radish, rhubarb, onion
Red fruit… tomato, capsicum, strawberries, cherries, grapes, raspberries, watermelon, apples, pomegranate, guava
Orange/Yellow fruit and vegetables are coloured by carotenoids. Beta-carotene is a well-known carotenoid found in carrots, pumpkin and kumara. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in our body, which is important for our eyes, immunity and gut health. Lutein is a carotenoid stored in the eyes and must be replenished. This may prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness.
Orange/Yellow vegetables… carrot, kumara, corn
Orange/Yellow fruit… rock melon, lemon, pumpkin, pineapple, mango, orange, squash, peaches, nectarines, apricots, grapefruit, kiwifruit, capsicum, papaya, pawpaw
Green fruit and vegetables are coloured by a range of phytonutrients including carotenoids, indoles and saponins, all of which have anticancer properties. Green is arguably the most nutritious, especially leafy green vegetables.
Green vegetables… spinach, asparagus, broccoli, peas, beans, lettuce, cabbage, celery, silver beet, kale, rocket, watercress, sprouts, courgette, cavolo nero, artichoke, snow peas
Green fruit… avocado, apples, grapes, limes, kiwifruit, cucumber, capsicum, pears, honeydew melon
Blue/Purple are coloured by the natural plant pigment anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Blue/Purple vegetables… beetroot, cabbage
Blue/Purple fruit… eggplant, blackberries, grapes, plums, blueberries
White/Brown fruit and vegetables are coloured by natural phytonutrients, including allicin (abundant in garlic). Allicin is well-known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, hence why garlic is beneficial for immunity. This colour is not less important, bananas and potatoes are good sources of potassium.
White/Brown vegetables… cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, onion, parsnip, turnip, shallots, leeks
White/Brown fruit… pears, banana, dates
Eat seasonally, locally and organically where possible.
When produce is out of season, frozen takes preference over tinned as it is less processed and contains less additives.
Written by Olivia Kennedy, Nutritionist, Naturopath and Herbalist and Wellpark Graduate.
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