The Health Benefits Of Colour Coding Your Food

It can be difficult for people to remember which fruits and vegetables help treat and heal certain illnesses or other health problems. One way to counteract the issue with memorizing facts and then recalling them at a later date quickly is to simply remember that foods with certain colors contain substances that assist with healthful eating. The main food color categories are blue and purple, green, orange, red and yellow-green.

Blue and Purple Foods
Blue and purple foods are high in a substance called anthocyanin. This particular chemical compound is a powerful antioxidant that is useful in preventing certain heart issues such as heart disease. They prevent blood clots and they may also be helpful in lowering high blood pressure. Some foods in this group have a reddish hue, but they lean toward the blue or purple part of the colour spectrum. Some blue and purple foods are:


Pink Silk Flower on Orange
Image is licensed under CC Attribution

Green Foods
Green foods are foods that are high in chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is full of isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates help the liver function better. They create an environment where the liver is able to effectively deal with carcinogens. Carcinogenic compounds are a contributing factor in cancer development and eating green foods can help prevent cancer and help treat it. Green foods include:

Bok choy
Brussel sprouts

Red Foods
Red foods contain a phytochemical called lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that, like anthocyanin, is helpful for treating certain cancers and heart issues. Some red foods are pinkish in colour. Tomatoes have the highest concentration of lycopene. Other red foods are:

Pink Grapefruit

Yellow-Green foods contain a substance called lutein that is almost as essential as Vitamin A for healthy eyes, especially in aging people. Yellow-green foods include:

Pistachios (the green skin of the nut)
Leafy greens (especially spinach)

Yellow-Orange foods are often high in Vitamin C, such as oranges. However, they are also usually high in beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Each of these compounds is turned into Vitamin A during the digestion process. Vitamin A is one of the few vitamins that people are routinely found lacking in via testing. Vitamin A is also the most important vitamin we need for healthy vision. Great yellow-orange foods are:

Sweet potatoes

Judging the health benefits of foods by colour is a direct result of the presence of phytochemicals. Some vegetables and fruits can be a little misleading with their colours. For instance, eggplant is considered a blue and purple food, but the antioxidant is contained almost exclusively in the skin. Phytochemicals are only present in plants, so this of choosing food cannot be used with animal products, such as meat, dairy and seafood.
About the Author:

Isaac writes for Team 24 a leading NHS locum agency with GP jobs and nursing positions throughout the UK and further afield.

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