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Colorful Foods - Healthy Foods - The Nutrition Rainbow

Monday, December 26, 2011
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No wonder there's a pot of gold at the end!

The two fundamental aspects of the lush color in foods is "balance & variety" which seduce our palate with taste, appeal and nutrition.
Did you know that the colors found in various foods represent 25,000 chemicals that are beneficial?

Buy foods in vivid shades of green, orange, yellow, purple and red, for not only are they visually enticing they are also packed with health-benefiting properties. Even the foods that have lighter colors -- garlic, onions, leeks, cabbage, celery etc. -- offer many benefits.

So, what's in the color?

A piece of trivia to note - the compounds that give fruits and vegetables their bright color are also responsible for giving them their unique health promoting properties. They are bio-active compounds occurring naturally in foods that provide more than just nutrition. Some studies have shown that these plant-based chemicals, or phyto-nutrients help prevent one or more chronic, debilitating and often deadly diseases by boosting immunity or ridding the body of damaging free radicals.

It's easy to add color to your diet! Toss up fruits vegetables raw, steamed, grilled or baked - Make your plate a canvas and paint each meal with life giving colors.

The trick is to include as many plant-based foods in your daily diet as possible, always including their colorful skins which often have the richest sources of protective phyto-nutrients, with the paler flesh. Try to avoid peeling foods like apples, peaches and eggplants because peeling removes their most concentrated source of beneficial nutrients.

Make sure to wash the food item well before consuming.

Balancing Tips:
  • Get at least 6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. 1 serving of fruit or veg = 1 extra small banana = 1 small orange = 1 small apple = 1 small guava = ½ cup of cooked vegetable.
  • Freshly prepared fruit juice (not more than 4 oz and no sugar added)
  • One glass of tomato juice supplies 50 percent of the recommended lycopene.
  • Add fruits to your breakfast cereal, salads, yogurts and desserts
  • Drink fruits milkshakes, smoothies.
 PURPLE  Beets, eggplant, purple grapes, red wine, grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples They may delay the aging of cells in the body. They may help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease  and urinary tract health
 GREEN  Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage or bok choi, kale  Which help to promote strong bones and teeth, vision health and may lower the risk of some types of cancer
 RED  Tomatoes,  pink grapefruit, strawberries watermelon, beets, red peppers, radishes
 Helps rid the body of free radicals & protects against prostate cancer, heart lung & Alzheimer's diseases.
 YELLOW  Pineapple, peaches, papayas, yellow corn, potatoes, sweet lime, lemon honeydew melon  Reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration
 WHITE  Scallions  

Find your treasure = Maximize benefits = Be nutrition rich!

By. Kanchan Saggi  Dietitian,

Tags: Bright colors / colours, fruits, vegetables, rich in nutrition, anti-oxidants, phyto-nutrients, boost immunity



User Comments

13 February, 2012 | neetu sharma | Reply


25 April, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Another take on why colorful veggies & fruits are important in our daily diet.
People are getting more and more conscious on looking younger and delaying wrinkles.Any amount of money spent on anti-ageing face creams and serums will not serve the purpose unless it is backed by healthy nutrition.
So what better support than eating a plate half full of phyto nutrients ? Think about it!!

25 April, 2011 | Parul Bhatnagar | Reply

Parul Bhatnagar Hi All,
Fruits and Vegetables are rich in antioxidants which gives you power to fight with diseases and increase your overall stamina.
Add as much color in your plate in form of healthy fruits and veggies for healthy living.

17 August, 2012 | naresh | Reply

naresh i agree that colourful fruits and vegetables are very rich in variety of minerals,enzymes,vitamins,the deeper the color the better it is for the consumer

28 September, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy It is advised to choose vegetables and fruits of different colors everyday to make the meal look more appealing. By choosing different color and variety we are also consuming a variety of nutrients everyday which is very important.

28 September, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar You know Sangeetha, the problems lies with adults/parents. If a child is taught from the very beginning about benefits of eating different coloured fruits & veggies, they are setting the foundation to good health. Most often parents themselves have problems eating them and pass on their whims to their kids or what is most commonly observed is , they give up too easily if kids fuss. A little patience goes a long way and if people persist be it adults or kids, we can make great headways to healthy colourful eating. Do you agree?

29 September, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Yes Viji Ma'am, completely agree with you. The foundation for healthy eating should be laid from childhood. The adults have to make sure that the child finishes his veggies and fruits in every meal. Giving the child extra time to eat and being patient goes a long way. May be parents have to cook up stories too along with veggies to make the child understand the importance of colorful and healthy eating.

04 June, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain Fruits and vegetables are not only visually appealing but packed with nutrients. They are perfect choice for snacking too…Have an apple instead of going for chocolate bars or namkeens or burgers for reviving your dipping energy levels in evening!

Kanika Jain

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