The Colourful Benefits Of A Rainbow Diet

  • 2 mins read
  • Nutrition
  • Diet and Healthy Food
  • Jillian Lai Mei Siew
Add a little more colour to your daily diet

A rainbow diet advocates eating a wide range of colourful fruits and vegetables as different colours have different implications on your health. You see, researchers have found that the colours in fruits and vegetables come from compounds collectively called phytonutrients.

These compounds help protect the plants from disease and when we eat them, they protect us too. Here’s what you need to know about the different benefits of coloured produce.

White and Brown

Most white and brown plants, like onions and garlic, contain allicin, which gives them a pungent flavour. Allicin comes in handy while fighting heart disease and cancer, it is also shown to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Research also suggests that allicin can help protect against atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Orange and Yellow

Oranges, carrots, bananas, pineapples, corn, all contain beta-cryptoxanthin, which is related to beta carotene. Beta-cryptoxanthin is converted into vitamin A which aids your body’s growth and development and improves your eyesight.

Red

Red-coloured foods such as tomatoes, beets, strawberries, watermelon, cherries, and red peppers contain the carotenoid lycopene. Not only does it improve the health of your heart, brain, eyes, and bones, but it may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and prevent prostate cancer.

Green

Everyone knows that green leafy vegetables are important for your diet and provide you with good nutrition. They contain folates which aid in cell growth and cardiovascular health. Additionally, they contain cancer-fighting compounds like sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles.

You can take your pick from avocados, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and even herbs like basil and thyme.

Blue & Purple

Blue and purple foods, like grapes, plums, purple cabbage, blueberries, and eggplant contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins.  These compounds aid in blood flow, reducing clotting, and have been shown to have antiviral effects.

Aside from diabetes and retinopathy, they’ve also been shown to help treat urinary tract infections and heart disease.

Though each of these groups is good to include in your meal, none of them are sufficient on their own. For the best results, you need to be eating at least two servings of this colour cocktail every day. And the fresher the better, because cooking these items on high heat can end up destroying the helpful compounds within.

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