by Carolanne Wright
(NaturalNews) Consuming a diet rich in naturally colorful foods not only is beautiful but encourages ultimate health balance. Enjoying a variety of each color group provides a powerful defense against disease and environmental stressors. Scientific research has confirmed the importance of consuming a broad spectrum of fruits and vegetables to protect and enhance physical well being.
The power of a colorfully diverse diet
The color in fruits and vegetables contain an astonishing 25,000 bioactive chemicals that are found to be beneficial for optimum health. Phytochemicals are compounds that help to protect plants from various dangers such as UV rays and damaging pests. These same compounds are the very elements that help to protect us too.
However, it is not enough to simply eat the 5-9 recommended servings per day. Consuming a veritable rainbow is the key to unlocking true robust radiance. Consider the modern diet compared with our hunter-gatherer ancestors who ate over 800 varieties of fruits and vegetables. Take for example sweet peas. There are 150 known types, but only a few available to the average consumer. To preserve health, it is especially important to encourage a diet that includes a wide assortment of different colors and varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Enjoy a wealth of color and health
To effortlessly take advantage of natures health enhancing bounty, focus on a varied diet selected from the seven vibrant food color groups. To receive the maximum benefit, consume only high-quality, locally grown, and organic produce.
These foods are packed with anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that help to protect against cellular aging, Alzheimers, and heart disease. Examples include red wine, strawberries, tomatoes, red apples, prunes, blueberries, purple grapes, eggplants and beets.
Green foods help to protect against cancer by inhibiting carcinogens with indoles, isocyanate, and sulforaphane. Kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli are a few excellent sources.
The active component allicin, found in the onion/garlic family, demonstrates anti-tumor activity. The flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol are found in white/green foods such as pears, endive, celery and white wine.
This color provides substantial amounts of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the eyes. Both compounds lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. As an added bonus, lutein also protects against atherosclerosis. Enjoy foods such as mustard greens, arugula, collards, spinach, honeydew melon, yellow corn and avocado.
Orange foods contain beta and alpha carotene, which assist in repairing damaged DNA and protect against cancer. Good sources are carrots, acorn squash, apricots, mangos and sweet potatoes.
Foods of these variety help to prevent heart disease through the compound beta cryptothanxin. Orange/yellow foods are also high in vitamin C which provides abundant health protecting benefits. Also, the skin of an orange contains high amounts of a protective fat that has been shown to annihilate cancer cells in humans. Focus on foods such as tangerines, peaches, papayas, oranges and pineapple.
Sources for this article include:
“Eating By Color,” Jennifer Wickes, March 1, 2009, Healthy Cooking at suite 101. Retrieved on May 31, 2012 from: http://suite101.com/article/eating-by-color-a99515
“What Color is Your Diet,” Rome Neal, August 6, 2010, CBS News.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2012 from: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500165_162-515724.html
“A Guide to Eating by Color,” Food and Wine.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2012 from: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/a-guide-to-eating-by-color
“Eating Well by Color,” EatingWell.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2012 from: http://www.eatingwell.com
About the author: Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef, and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness, and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.com she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.