Brighten your diet – eat by the rainbow

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 19 April 2023.
Tagged: fresh food, health, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, nutrition

Brighten your diet – eat by the rainbow
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What’s the first thing that strikes you when you walk into a fresh produce store? If you’re imagining the rainbow of colour…so am I!  Eating lots of different-coloured fruit and vegetables each day ensures you consume a variety of natural phytochemicals (antioxidants), which just so happen to make beautiful colours.

You won’t necessarily find these bottled as supplements, so here are the five key phytochemicals and in which foods you’ll find them.

1. Reds

Blush with lycopene, which helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in biological males.

Found in: tomato, watermelon, guava, ruby grapefruit. 

2. Oranges and yellows

Glow with beta-carotene, which can protect against a range of cancers.

Found in: pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, mango, paw-paw, apricot, rockmelon.

3. Greens

Flourish with lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds related to beta-carotene that can protect our eyes as we age.

Found in: broccoli, spinach, silverbeet, capsicum, chilli, parsley, dark-green lettuce.

4. Blues and purples

Blossom with anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Found in: grape, blueberry, blackberry, cranberry, pomegranate, purple carrot, radicchio lettuce.

5. Browns

Abound with catechins – phytochemicals for heart and blood vessel health.

Found in: tea, chocolate, red wine.

The bottom line

If you eat by the rainbow, wonderful things can happen. You can lose weight, slow age-related mental decline, lower your chances of gallstones, help to prevent heart disease, and lower your diabetes risk (by eating leafy green vegetables). In other words, eating more veg can make you happier and lessen your mental health risk.

So, choose red onions over white, dark-green lettuces over iceberg, berries over apples and pears, etc. Variety is the key.

Related Links / External websites

Head to Alice’s AZ where you’ll find vegetables by their name and the book they were drawn from in this case it's from the book by Alice Zavlaski  “In Praise of Veg”.