Why 'eating the rainbow' could be the health tip your diet needs

Why 'eating the rainbow' could be the health tip your diet needs


Posted 18th June by Peter Byrne

While we all know the importance of getting our 5-a-day, many of us are not as aware of the need to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, to ensure we get the appropriate nutrients

So, how can we make sure we are? A good place to start is by eating a 'rainbow' of fruit and vegetables - after all, each colour has different benefits.

To give you a helping hand, Fiona Hunter, Nutritionist for Discover Great Veg, is sharing some simple tips that will help you to get the perks associated with each colour...

Red

There are a variety of antioxidants in red fruit and vegetables. For instance, tomatoes contain lycopene, red berries like strawberries have anthocyanins, while strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate include ellagic acid. You can also get vitamin A from red peppers.

Lycopene has antioxidant properties that help to protect you from cardiovascular disease (CVD), while it has been reported that it helps to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.

Orange

You'll find that orange fruits and vegetables, like carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin and sweet potato, are all high in carotenoids which include alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. These both get converted into vitamin A within the body.

After this conversion, the fruit and vegetables help to keep the immune system working efficiently, while also supporting vision in dim light and helping to maintain healthy skin.

Blue and Purple

Blue and purple foods get their colour because of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants which have a role in looking after cells. Purple foods like beetroot and purple lettuce are also high in nitrates, which help to reduce blood pressure.

Yellow fruits 

Yellow fruits - including mango, papaya and apricots - are one of the main food sources for beta-carotene, which get changed into vitamin A by the body. You also get good sources of vitamin A from green leafy vegetables, including cavolo nero, kale and spinach.

We need Vitamin A for a healthy immune system, while it also supports vision in dim light, and plays a part in healthy skin.

Green

Leafy green vegetables are rich in many types of nutrient. For instance, green vegetables like kale and cavolo nero are good sources of vitamins K, A and C, while they have the additional benefit of being high in lutein and folate.

Vitamin K helps our blood to clot and also keep wounds healing properly, while Vitamin C protects cells, maintaining their health, and with it, healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage and also helps wounds to heal.






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