October 10, 2012

in Tips & Tricks

Have you heard that phrase before? Not only does it make life and your dinner a whole lot more interesting, but there’s also a few health reason why you should vary not only the types of vegetables, but also the color.

Colors of fruits and veggies can actually tell you some of the nutrients they contain, and if we keep eating the same fruits and vegetables without much variety, we don’t get the full spectrum of nutrients and phytochemicals we need for good health.

RED and (PINK) fruits and vegetables like beets, radishes, or cranberries contains nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin which help protect against certain types of cancer and keeps your heart and bladder healthy, among other things. Other RED fruits and veggies include: tomatoes, red cabbage, strawberries, cherries, watermelon, red onion and red apples.

ORANGE and YELLOW ones like butternut squash, corn, or yellow watermelon contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C which help your eyes and immune system as well as your heart and lowering your risk of cancer. Other yellow fruits and veggies include: carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, pumpkins, pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe, tangerine, mango and lemon.

GREEN ones such as zucchini, kale, okra, and kiwi contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene and help protect against cataracts, cancer, and helps your digestive, immune, detox, and circulatory systems among other numerous benefits. Other green Fruits and veggies include: spinach, green peas, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, book chit, cucumbers, asparagus, cauliflower, watercress, honeydew, green grapes, green apples, limes and avocados.

PURPLE and BLUE choices like prunes, eggplant, and purple sweet potatoes contain lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin, which protect against strokes, cancer, memory loss, and heart disease as well as keeping your body functioning better in old age. Other purple and blue fruits and veggies include blueberries, purple cabbage, raisins, and purple grapes.

WHITE ones like bananas, cauliflower, garlic, and potatoes contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans and help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and also help reduce the risk of heart disease and stomach cancer. Other white veggies include onion, green onion, ginger, mushrooms and jicama.

The other, just as potent reason to vary the colors of veggies is that we have co-evolved alongside the 100 trillion bacteria in our guts over time. This bacteria makes byproducts that we use in our bodies to make other types of bacteria. All these bacteria work together in beautiful synergy to keep you healthy and strong.

If you decided to only eat one type or color of veggie or food, or you eat the sad Standard American Diet of mainly processed food loaded down with white flour and sugar, you will starve your bowels of the bacteria it needs and flood it with bacteria that it has never seen before and doesn’t know what to do with that and cause imbalance. Bet you can guess what happens next….

So next time you make coleslaw (or try making some for the first time!) use lovely purple cabbage instead of the typical “green” (almost white) cabbage. Or if you’re used to buying one color of apples, grapes, or onions try a different color this week.



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