Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, and Purple
To celebrate Summer, many festivals are held throughout the world. A few of our favorite celebrations are the Festival of Colors and the Color Run. Both events use colorful powders that are thrown up into the air and spray the participants with color. The Festival of Color was originally started by the Hindu’s but has become very popular throughout the world with Non-Hindu followers.
Color signifies life and health and plays a significant role in our health and wellbeing. Plants produce hidden and priceless compounds that are seen through colors. Science has just begun to unwind the health benefits provided by the compounds and phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their pigments. Throughout generations, we have known that the best nutritional support for optimal health begins with raw, nutrient foods. However, research and modern technology have only recently shown that color, which protects and promotes healthy plant life, is also a foundation of human health. Color is a key indicator of protective essential nutrients and each color has significant and protective qualities that protect our bodies.
But what do these colors mean?
Blue-Purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins and phenolics-powerful antioxidants that are helpful in reinforcing the body’s defenses by alleviating oxidative stress. They contain anti-inflammatories and help protect the brain. Many blue and purple fruits contain vitamin A, which protects eyesight from premature blindness and protects the skin.
Yellow-Orange fruits and vegetables contain compounds called carotenoids and bioflavonoids that help protect cells from the damaging effect of free radicals. The carotenoids are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene. These carotenoids help protect eyesight, reduce inflammation, provide antioxidant protection from free radicals and boost immunity.
Red fruits and vegetables contain an array of phytochemicals such as ellagic acid, caffeic acids, ferulic acid and lignans. All chemicals protect the cells from damage and have healing powers. Ellagic acid has been known to promote cell death. Cells are programmed to die at a certain time and when the cells don’t die at a preset time they can run amuck. Ellagic acid helps turn off cell growth. However, it works best in conjunction with other compounds found in fruits and vegetables. So eat up.
Green vegetables are cancer-fighting machines and are loaded with chemical compounds that help protect the body from cancer. Green is the color of life and wellbeing. The main compound in green vegetables is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a detoxifier that helps flush toxins out of the body. In addition to chlorophyll, lutein and beta-carotene are found in green vegetables.
Eat Fresh, Eat Raw and Eat a Variety of Colors
On average, a single fruit or vegetable can contain over 200 naturally occurring compounds that protect and heal. For instance, 217 compounds have been identified in carrots. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to supply your body with thousands of protective and nutritious compounds.
For a more extensive overview of the health benefits of each fruit and vegetable, visit the nutrition factors section on this website.