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15 Jul 2016

Eat the Rainbow - Colour Coded Eating - Part 2


If you missed the first part of this article, then click here for an introduction and rules to follow.

Colourful Eating

The examples below are by no means exhaustive, just some suggestions for each colour group.

Green: Peas, green beans, gooseberries, kiwi, asparagus, green peppers, cabbage (all types), sprouts, avocado, kale, artichokes, broccoli, green grapes, pak choi, lettuce and honeydew melon…

Some of the things found in green foods are: lutein and zeaxanthin – both are important for eyes and healthy vision. Zeaxanthin may also help reduce breast and lung cancer, as well as play a role in preventing stroke and heart disease. Luteolin lowers inflammation in the central nervous system and the brain and quercetin has an all over body effect as an anti-inflammatory.

Yellow/Orange: Butternut squash, mangoes, yellow & orange peppers, pineapple, grapefruit, sweet corn, peaches, cantaloupe melon, oranges and carrots.

Carotenoids are in these fruits and vegetables, some of which will convert to vitamin A, which keeps your eyes and skin healthy. Beta-carotene has been associated with reducing risk in heart problems, degenerative diseases, reducing cognitive decline, dementia risk and supporting the immune system. Bioflavonoids may also slow degenerative diseases as well as reducing inflammation in the body. Combine these yellow/orange foods with healthy fats (such as olive oil) for maximum absorption of the carotenoids.

White: Parsnips, celeriac, garlic, turnips, mushrooms, cauliflower and onions.

You may not think of white as a colour when eating the rainbow, but several of these products contain useful phytonutrients – such as onions and garlic which contain both quercetin and allicin which protect blood capillaries as well as killing harmful bacteria. Mushrooms help reduce heart disease with their polyphenols and cauliflower has glucosinolates and thiocyanates that help reduce cancers, digestive disorders and heart disease.

Purple/Blue: Beetroot, red onions, purple cabbage, blueberries, black grapes, cherries, purple potatoes, plums, aubergines and blackberries.

In this group of colours, you will find anthocyanins, they preserve memory, reduce the risk of some cancers and reduce inflammation. Blueberries are a current focus of research in the battle against Alzheimer’s – with the effect of anthocyanins on mental decline. Resveratrol (found in purple grapes) promotes a healthy circulatory system, whilst blackberries also help in the fight against cancer through ellagic acid and catechins.

Red/Pink: Tomatoes, red peppers, cranberries, rhubarb, strawberries, red chillies, pomegranate, pink grapefruit, red grapes, raspberries and watermelon.

Many people will have heard of lycopene – tomatoes are jam packed with it, but also other red fruits and vegetables. It is this member of the carotenoid family that converts to vitamin A and along with vitamins C&E protect against free radical damage, along with promoting good colon health. Red berries also contain ellagic acid and anthocyanins and together they will slow the ageing process and have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Depending on your age, you may well have been told by your parents “to eat your greens”, well, now the message should be “eat your greens, reds, yellows, purples, whites and more…”

There is no doubt that the science is complex and research is ongoing, but the message really couldn’t be simpler – For the sake of your health, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in as many colours as possible as often as possible…

Ref: Lifespan, health magazine

Written by: I4C_Blog_Admin