Picture for representational purpose only. iStock Nature hands us a wide spectrum of rich and varied colours on our plates. Fruits and vegetables get their colour from the natural pigments which are good for us. Colourful foods contain many vitamins and antioxidants we need – with a few calories. Along with maintaining good health, the nutrients in vegetables and fruits work together to protect against cancer, heart disease, vision loss, hypertension and other diseases.
The energising power of RED
Red vegetables get their hue and nutrition boost from lycopene and anthocyanin which help to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, hypertension and high cholesterol. Red fruits and vegetables protect our hearts.
Red Vegetables: tomatoes, radishes, red cabbage, beets
Red Fruits: red grapes, strawberries, watermelon, cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, cranberries, red apples
Appetising and Mesmerising YELLOW/ORANGE
Bright orange and yellow foods have those colours due to alpha and beta carotene, which in the body are converted into vitamin A which protect your nervous system and promote eye health. They also play an important role in maintaining skin health.
Orange and Yellow Vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, sweet corn, sweet potato, yellow pepper, yellow tomatoes
Orange and Yellow Fruits: yellow apples, apricots, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, mangoes, papaya, pears, pineapple
Go natural, go GREEN
The colour green is now almost synonymous with health and well-being when it comes to food.
Green plants are full of chlorophyll, an antioxidant with a host of different health benefits. A main effect is clearing toxins from the body, which means lowering risk of cancer, supporting digestive enzymes and absorption of nutrients, boosting the immune system, increasing energy, and faster tissue healing.
Green Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, green pepper
Green Fruits: green apples, kiwi, green grapes, lime, avocado
Feeling not so BLUE/ PURPLE
The deep colours of these fruits and vegetables are brought to you by pigments called anthocyanins and are useful promoting brain function especially boosting memory and help reducing inflammation in the body.
Blue and Purple Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes Blue and Purple Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, grapes, plums,
Hipporates, the father of modern medicine famously claimed, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Chronic ailments like obesity, diabetes and hypertension can be cured or at least controlled properly with subtle lifestyle changes along with proper nutritional and exercise routines. Eating a variety of colourful foods with every meal is vital for boosting maximum nutrition and indicates an abundance of natural vitamins and minerals. Starting to eat right when we are young is a way to healthy and fit life!
Dr Deepti Arora, Physician & Diabetologist