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The Benefits Of 'Eating The Rainbow'

The Benefits Of 'Eating The Rainbow'

Studies have shown that ‘eating the rainbow’, which involves filling your plate with fruits and vegetables that contain a range of colourful bioactive pigments, can be beneficial for health! Fruits and vegetables are also rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fibre and other compounds that are essential for our bodies to function properly. Curious to know more about why different coloured fruits and vegetables are beneficial? Continue reading to learn more!

The Benefits Of Green

The green colour of some fruits and vegetables come from chlorophyll, which is the pigment that allows plants to create their own food through photosynthesis! Research shows that chlorophyll has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Green fruits and vegetables are also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids which have antioxidant properties and are beneficial for eye health. Green fruits and vegetables include spinach, broccoli, peas, parsley, grapes, and kale.

The Benefits Of Yellow, Orange and Red

Foods that are yellow, orange and red in colour contain beta carotene. Beta carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid - the body can convert it into Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin! Beta carotene is also an antioxidant, which can help prevent oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. These fruits and vegetables are also a source of lutein and zeaxanthin and can benefit eye health. Yellow, orange and red pigments can be found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, apricots, bananas, corn and butternut squash. 

The Benefits of Blue And Purple

The blue and purple colours in some fruits and vegetables come from anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are coloured molecules that can provide certain health benefits, specifically by providing protection from neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Studies have also confirmed that high intakes of anthocyanins are associated with a lower risk of developing obesity and diabetes. Purple and blue pigments can be found in fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, blackberries, aubergine, purple cauliflower, pomegranate, black carrots, purple cabbage, and acai berries. 

The Bottom Line

Having a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of different colours can provide a range of health benefits, from anti-inflammatory effects to neuroprotective properties. Including fruits and vegetables with a variety of colours in your diet ensures you get a variety of different bioactive pigments to help reap the most benefits! In addition to the benefits the pigments provide, these foods are generally also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, and are important in meeting nutritional needs on a day to day basis.

What’s your favourite colour? Let us know in the comments below!
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