What is it about colour that entices us, allures us, makes us feel good? Whether it be colour on our clothes or colour in our food, the more colour, the more intrigued we are.
Have you ever wondered why children are happy to eat yellow foods, red foods, purple foods but stop short of green foods. Which is brighter? Which is more fascinating and last but not least, which colour tempts our tastebuds more. I would say the brighter and the more colourful the food on the plate, the better.
‘Eat a diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables’ is one of the tried and tested recommendations for a healthy diet. Nutritionists are recommending that a variety of colours be eaten everyday. This does not include the beige food - the biscuits and cookies. Beige foods are the processed foods and should be avoided if optimal health is to be achieved.
Eating an abundance of colourful fruits and vegetables may help ward off heart disease and stroke, it may help control blood pressure, it may also guard against cataract and macular degeneration.
Bananas come in their own conveniently packaged jacket. Containing B6 and tryptophan, they are a great calming food. They are also high in potassium which is great for heart health. Yellow foods also contain beta-carotene. This is converted to Vitamin A in the body and is important for healthy eyes and mucous membranes. Vitamin A also helps build the immune system.
Strawberries, cherries, red apples, cranberries. These antioxidant rich fruits are highly nutritious as they roam the body scavenging free radicals along the way. They are also high in Vitamin A and C which supports immune function. Their antioxidant called lycopene is one of the most powerful anti cancer carotenoids.
Purple grapes, eggplant. These foods contain an antioxidant called anthocyanins. These are very powerful antioxidants which have been shown to support immune function as well as guard the body against stress and heart disease.
High in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and zinc, these fruits support our immune function. Vitamins A and C are also potent antioxidants.
A pigment called chlorophyll provides these foods their colour green. These foods contain a phytochemical which is helps sustain healthy eyes reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Cruciferous green foods such as brussel sprouts and broccoli contain indoles which may help protect against some cancers. Green leafy vegetables are high in iron.
These foods contain an antioxidant called Allium Sulphurs. These are heart protective as they may help lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. White foods such as garlic and onion contain anti bacterial properties.
We need to rediscover colour as vegetables and fruits slowly find their way back into the fruit bowl and fridge crisper. For a long time, the only source of vegetable colour consumption has been French fries, tomato sauce and ice berg lettuce served with a meat patty in a beige bread bun. Much research into this type of diet has been conducted.
The conclusion is that a diet based on take away and processed foods leads to diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome x, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Research has also concluded that variety is the key to optimal health and the key to providing our cells with the nutrients they need in order to support optimal health.
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