Eat the Rainbow!

The way that food looks, smells and tastes are the result of the phytonutrients it contains. You’ll know that phytonutrients are doing their job when an onion is sliced and it releases it’s smell or when kale slowly starts to change it’s colour from a light green to a darker green colour after being massaged. The richer the colour of the food, the more phytonutrients it contains. Simply put, phytonutrients are “plant nutrients.” Along with vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, phytonutrients are essential to our health.

Relevance of Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients fights free radicals (molecules with unpaired electrons that are volatile and cause damage to surrounding molecules). In other words, phytonutrients are the plant’s home security service. They act as defenders, protecting plants from disease, injuries, insects, drought, excessive heat, ultraviolet rays and pollutants in the air or the soil. Since we cannot produce our own phytonutrients, we need to consume them through plants. Consuming the phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables will protect us against free radical damage. Phytonutrients are associated with the prevention and even treatment of at least four of the leading causes of death in Western countries – cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension.

Eat the Rainbow and Reap the Benefits

♥ The RED Family – Lycopene

  • cancer fighting agent
  • keeps skin looking younger
  • improve heart and blood health
  • powerful antioxidant (a substance that inhibits oxidation of other molecules and protects the body from free radicals)
  • maintains strength, thickness, fluidity of cell membranes
  • prevents age-related macular degeneration and cataracts
  • acts as internal sunscreen, helping protect skin from sunburns

ex. tomatoes, tomato products, watermelon, pink grapefruit, apricots and pink guavas. 

♥ The Deep ORANGE Family – Carotenes

  • an antioxidant
  • prevents cancer
  • support immune function
  • promote collagen growth
  • helps improve communication between cells

ex. carrots, pumpkins, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes 

♥ The YELLOW-ORANGE Family – Flavonoids

  • rich in vitamin C
  • a group of antioxidants
  • helps immune system
  • helps vision and digestive health
  • support cardiovascular and nervous system

ex. citrus fruits, peaches, nectarines, pineapple and papaya

♥ The GREEN Family – Lutein

  • dark green leafy vegetables
  • fight free radicals
  • improve immune system
  • powderful detoxers

ex. green beans, green peppers, kiwi fruit and honeydew melon 

♥ The Purple-Red Family – Anthocyanins

  • most powerful antioxidant
  • reduce inflammation
  • protect against cancer
  • improve mineral absoprtion
  • recent study shows good effects in eyes, arteries and the brain

ex. berries (especially blueberries), plums (prunes) and red grapes (raisins, grape juice and red wine)

♥ The Allium Family

  • white coloured foods
  • contain compounds that protect our DNA
  • activate natural killer cells that help reduce risk of cancers

ex. onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives 

♥ The Cabbage Family

  • also known as the cruciferous vegetables
  • contain chemicals (sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and indoles) that help break down cancer-causing compounds

ex. cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, bok choy and watercress 

In a nutshell, phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that enhance immune response, cause cancer cells to die, repair DNA damage from toxic exposures and alter estrogen metabolism. So fight those free radicals with these phytonutrients! Add a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet and reap the benefits of the colours of the rainbow!

FIGHT FOR YOUR HEALTH WITH PHYTONUTRIENTS!!!

rainbow

Feel free to share in the comments below how you like to incorporate the rainbow in your diet! 🙂

Have a happy and healthy day!

Ana Bella