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Paint your plate with colourful food and bring more colours to your life

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Did you know that adding colour to your meals will help you live a longer and healthier life?

Every food has a colour code that can help nourish your mind, body and heart.

Colourful fruits and vegetables can paint a beautiful picture of health because they contain phytonutrients, compounds that give plants rich colours and distinctive tastes and aromas.

Phytonutrients protect plants from damaging environments such as bacteria and plant virus infections, and also consumption by insects and other animals.

What do phytonutrients do for the body by colours?

Red: Rich in the carotenoid lycopene, a potent scavenger of gene-damaging free radicals that seems to protect against prostate cancer as well as heart and lung disease.

Found in: strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, tomatoes, cherries, apples, beets, watermelon, red grapes, red peppers, and red onions.

Orange and yellow: Provide beta cryptothanxin, which supports intracellular communication and may help prevent heart disease.

Found in: carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, oranges, bananas, etc.

Green: These foods are rich in cancer-blocking chemicals like sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles, which inhibit the action of carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds).

Found in: spinach, avocados, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.

Blue and purple: Have powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, believed to delay cellular ageing and help the heart by blocking the formation of blood clots.

Found in: blueberries, blackberries, etc.

White and brown: The onion family contains allicin, which has anti-tumour properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol.

Found in: onions, cauliflower, mushroom, etc.

Best ways to get your Phytonutrients loaded:

1. They are best taking in by eating the food than taking supplements or pills;

2. Aim to get more plants into your breakfast (adding leafy greens to a smoothie or omelette);

3. Cooking reduces the antioxidants content, so raw or light steaming is a better way to eat your veggies and fruit.

By incorporating a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into your diet, you can enhance the nutritional profile of your meals and ensure you're getting a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals necessary for optimal health. Remember to focus on whole, unprocessed foods to maximize the health benefits.


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