The colors of fruits and vegetables reflect the antioxidants found in them. When you make your meals vibrant with as many colors as possible from using a variety of fruits and vegetables, you are assuring ultra-protection against numerous diseases and health ailments. Keep in mind the fact that all veggies and fruits have tons of vitamins and minerals that boost your health. In this blog, I am going to dig a bit deeper by looking at how carotenoids found in different colors of vegetables and fruits further protect your health.
Red veggies and fruits (think red onions, red apples, watermelon, tomatoes, and red peppers) contain powerful carotenoids, including lycopene, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Lycopene is known for helping to keep LDL cholesterol levels low, preventing diabetes, and also protecting against several types of cancer. Ellagic acid is purported to have anti-cancer properties. Quercetin is a very effective anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help fight allergies and help athletes recover from intense exercise.
White veggies, such as garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions and turnips contain beta-glucanss, EGCG and lignans. Beta-glucans and EGCG are known for fighting invading pathogens; they help the body conquer infections and there is mounting evidence that they can help fight cancer. Lignans have an anti-estrogenic effect and as a result have shown evidence in helping to prevent breast cancer.
Orange and yellow veggies and fruits, like oranges, lemons, sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins contain lycopene and beta-carotene. Lycopene, mentioned above, is such an effective antioxidant by cleaning out the free radicals in cells and allowing protective nutrients to enter the cells. Beta-carotene, known for helping vision, has also been shown to prevent metabolic syndrome and help keep triglyceride levels at a healthy level.
Purple and blue veggies and fruits, such as eggplants, blueberries, plums and endive contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These two carotenoids are super at protecting your vision. They help block harmful light from damaging your eyes.
Green vegetables and fruits like peas, arugula, asparagus, avocado and honeydew contain the eye-health boosting lutein and the powerful antioxidant beto-carotene.
Next time, you plan a meal, aim for a rainbow of colors and know that you are protecting yourself from so many terrible health ailments from macular degeneration to cancer!