Vegetables and fruits should be every foodie’s best friend. Due to their low caloric content, you can eat and eat without having to worry about your weight. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals and the high amount of fiber ensures that you not only get full for less, but your digestive track thanks you for taking them. The U.S. dietary guidance recommends at least one serving of dark green and an orange vegetable daily. Your goal, however, should be to eat a rainbow. Play around with the colors to get the most out of them. This is because each color represents a different nutrient and phytochemicals as we shall see below.
White Fruits and Vegetables
White vegetables are rich in potassium which provides relief from blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, stress and anxiety while enhancing metabolism, the nervous system and muscle strength; magnesium which is an essential component in many metabolic reactions; vitamin C which is an antioxidant that prevents cellular damage, maintains healthy gums and aids healing of wounds; and fiber which increases satiety, regulates blood glucose and improves digestion.
Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
Yellow vegetables and fruits are rich in Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants such as carotenoids and bioflavonoids. They are good for the heart, digestion, vision and immune system. They are also good for the skin bones and teeth. Some examples of yellow fruits and vegetables are bananas, corn, lemons, yellow peppers, butternuts, pumpkins and even herbs such as ginger.
Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Orange vegetables contain a type of Vitamin A known as Retinoic acid that is very effective when it comes to fighting the early stages of breast cancer; beta-carotene regulates the immune system and maintains healthy vision; Vitamin C antioxidants which lowers the risks of cardiovascular diseases and rebuilds the collagen of the skin; lutein and zeaxanthin prevent cataracts; and Vitamin B6 which helps produce antibodies that fight against diseases. Examples of orange vegetables are pumpkins, oranges, sweet potatoes, winter squash and carrots.
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Red vegetables are a rich source of Lycopene, a phytochemical best known for preventing several types of cancers including prostate cancer. This compound is so effective that the National Cancer Institute recommends the consumption of a deep-red or pink vegetable or fruit every day. They also contain anthocyanins which are antioxidants that control high blood pressure, circulation and diabetes. Some examples of red vegetables are fresh tomatoes, pink grapefruit, guava, watermelon, beets, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, red beans, cherries, red cabbage, red onions and apples.
Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Purple fruits and vegetables contain disease fighting phytochemicals like anthocynins and phenolics. These powerful antioxidants promote health and reduce the risks of diseases such as cancer and heart diseases. They also slow the aging process. Examples are blueberries, raisins, eggplant, purple grapes, plums, black currants, prunes, and blackberries.
Green Fruits and Vegetables
Green vegetables should be eaten every day. Lutein, a powerful antioxidant found in green leafy vegetables is very good for good vision. It reduces the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration. Another phytochemicalis the indoles. It is found in cruciferous plants such as brussels sprouts and broccoli and helps protect against breast and prostate cancer. Examples of green fruits and vegetables include cabbage, spinach, kales, turnips, green peas, kiwifruit, honeydew, brussel sprouts and cauliflower.