Ever wonder what the health benefits of all those colorful fruits and vegetables you are eating really are? Fresh whole foods are full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and many other nutrients that are essential for ultimate health. There are so many beautiful colors of produce out there and each color has its own set of health promoting nutrients. It is vital to consume the full spectrum of colors to get the most nutrients to protect your overall health.
Red Fruit and Vegetables
The most notable nutrients found in red fruits and vegetables are lycopene and anthocyanins. There are many thousands of other beneficial nutrients as well and create some pretty impressive health benefits for your body.
Some health benefits of consuming lots of red produce include reducing the risk of cancer and free radical damage. There have been studies that have shown red produce lowers the risk of prostate cancer, lowers blood pressure, inhibits tumor growth, lowers LDL cholesterol levels, and supports joint tissue.
Red fruit and vegetables include red peppers, cranberries, tomatoes, pomegranates, apples, strawberries, raspberries, red cabbage, cherries, guava, and watermelon.
Orange Fruit and Vegetables
Carotenoids and citrus bioflavonoids are the most popular nutrients found in orange produce. Orange produce has shown to improve brain function, decrease muscle cramps, lower cancer risk, lower heart disease risk, and increase the efficiency of your immune system.
Some examples of these orange fruits and vegetables are pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mango, carrots, cantaloupe, tangerines, and oranges.
Yellow Fruit and Vegetables
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two big nutrients found in yellow fruits and vegetables with the most notable benefit being the decrease risk of macular degeneration and they overall protect your eyes from damage. They can also increase your energy levels and your immune system.
Some yellow fruits and vegetables are corn, pineapple, yellow peppers, lemons, yellow apples, and pears.
Green Fruit and Vegetables
Chlorophyll is the major nutrient in that green color you find in fruits and vegetables. Green produce has been shown to lower cancer risk, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, free radical damage, and improve your vision and immune system.
There is lettuce, kiwi, artichokes, asparagus, limes, Brussels sprouts, avocado, spinach, kale, peas, green beans, green peppers, green apples, zucchini, and broccoli that fall under the green produce category.
Blue and Purple Fruit and Vegetables
The vast array of health benefits found with blue and purple fruit and vegetables range from improving the immune system, digestion, and lowering inflammation in the body to lowering LDL cholesterol levels, tumor growth, and risk of cancer. The main nutrients that give these fruits and vegetables their color and some health benefits are resveratrol, proanthocyanidin, and anthocyanidin.
What are some blue and purple fruit and vegetables that you can start eating for these health benefits? Blue and purple produce options include raisins, plums, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, eggplant, and pruns.
White Fruit and Vegetables
Anthoxanthins are health beneficial nutrients found in white produce. With this color of fruit and vegetables come some great health benefits of lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, stomach cancer risk, and overall heart disease risk. Onions, potatoes, leeks, bananas, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and many nuts and seeds are great examples of white fruit and vegetables that give you many nutrients.
The key to ultimate health is getting a variety of fruits and vegetables and eating the full spectrum of the rainbow. Each color has its own beneficial nutrients and should have a place in a healthy plant based diet. A diet high in nutrients and lower in nutrient-poor foods is the key to longevity and health.