Health Benefits of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

May 29, 2009
Most people know about the benefits of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. It is also important to include a variety of fruits and vegetables with rich color in your diet. Richly colored fruits and vegetables have the greatest amount of nutrients that are hard to substitute with supplements alone. The nutrients in vegetables and fruits work together to create unique protective effect against cancer, heart disease, vision loss, hypertension and other diseases.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are known to have high levels of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that ward off a great number of diseases. Anthocyanins protect cells from oxidative damage, preventing heart diseases, stroke and cancer. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are very important for your memory and promote healthy ageing. This food was also found to protect urinary tract health and regulate healthy digestion.

Blue and Purple Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes

Blue and Purple Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, plums, raisins, figs

Red fruits and vegetables

Health professionals say that we should include more red fruits and vegetables to protect our hearts. Red color in most fruits and vegetables contain potent antioxidants that reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol level. Red colored fruits and vegetables are also high in phytonutrients such as lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene is known to lower the risk of developing different types of cancer , including prostate cancer. Anthocyanins are naturally occurring pigments that protect gaisnt heart diseases and improve brain function.

Red Vegetables: tomatoes, radishes, red cabbage, beets

Red Fruits: red grapes, strawberries, watermelon, cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, cranberries, red apples

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are packed with carotenoids, vitamin C and many other nutrients that are known to protect your nervous system, eye health and prevent heart diseases. Beta-carotene which is converted by body to vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining your skin health and vision as well as boosts your immune system. Together with magnesium and calcium these help you build strong bones.

Orange and Yellow Vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, sweet corn, sweet potato, yellow pepper, yellow tomatoes

Orange and Yellow Fruits: yellow apples, apricots, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, mangoes, papaya, pears, pineapple

Green fruits and vegetables

Green fruits and veggies are rich in fiber, folic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, beta-carotene and vitamins C. Lutein, a natural antioxidant found in green vegetables and fruits together with zeaxanthin help protect your eye health, lowering the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Also green leafy vegetables contain folic acid which is very important for pregnant women as it reduces the risk that their baby will develop a birth defect. The essential nutrients found in green veggies and fruits protect you from cancer and high level of bad cholesterol, regulate digestion and improve immune system functioning.

Green Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, green pepper

Green Fruits: green apples, kiwi, green grapes, lime, avocado

White fruits and vegetables

White fruits and vegetables contain chemical called allicin that is known to lower the level of bad cholesterol as well as high blood pressure. These produce has also great immune boosting effect on your body. Nutrients found in white fruits and veggies stimulate natural killer B and T cells, the major regulators of the immune defense. They also minimize the risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer.

White Vegetables: potatoes, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, turnips

White Fruits:bananas, white nectarines, white peaches, pears