Eat At Least 5 Colours In A Day: Know The Health Benefits Associated
Including a variety of vegetables and fruits in your diet can provide you with beneficial antioxidants that can improve your immunity and overall well-being.
Eating 5 colours can help in keeping you disease-free
- Blue coloured foods have phytochemicals like anthocyanin and phenols
- White fruits and vegetables are especially good for heart health
- Yellow coloured foods are rich in Vitamin C
Eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables is something experts have always recommended. Following the rainbow diet has been considered to be a fundamentally healthy way to eat. When we say five colours, it refers to two fruits and three vegetables, and is a good combination especially for children and adults. Colorful fruits and vegetables provide the wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals your body uses to maintain good health and energy levels. An easy way to include them in your diet is by filling half your plate with colourful vegetables and the rest with roti, curd, pickle, chutney etc.
Phytochemicals and other beneficial compounds in fruits and vegetables give them their color that is why we should have a complete spectrum for good health and strong immunity.
How to include at least 5 colours in your diet
- Blue/ Purple color can be included by consuming blueberries, purple grapes, black currants, purple cabbage, eggplants, purple carrots etc. They have health promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanin and phenols. Including these coloured foods in your diet can reduce risk of cancer, they are good for urinary tract health, memory function and promote healthy ageing.
- Green ones include varied amounts of lutein and indoles which have antioxidant properties. Avocados, green apples, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, green pears, artichokes, broccoli, celery, cucumber, green onions, lettuce, spinach, peas, ladies finger, zucchini etc. can be consumed for lowering risk of cancer, maintaining vision health, for making teeth and bone strong
- White, tan and brown contains varying amount of phytochemicals e.g. Allicin found in garlic and onion family. One should include bananas, white peaches, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions, potatoes and turnips in the diet. White fruits and vegetables are especially good for heart health, maintain cholesterol levels, also lowers risk of cancers.
- Yellow/ orange fruits and vegetables can be included by having yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges, papaya, peaches, grapefruit, lemon, mangoes, pineapples, yellow pears, orange carrots, yellow peppers, pumpkin, sweet corn. They have antioxidants such as Vitamin C as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids which have potential of health promotion. They are good for healthy heart, vision health, a healthy immune system, lowers risk of cancers
- Red color is because of presence of lycopene and anthocyanin which have health enhancing properties. One may include red apples, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, red pears, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, beetroot, red peppers, red radishes, red carrots, tomatoes in their diet for attaining the benefits like for healthy heart, good memory function, a lower risk of cancers and for maintaining urinary tract health.
General benefits of eating at least 5 colours of fruits and vegetables every day
- Good source of fibre, folate, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C
- Low in Calories, Fats and Sodium
- Cuts risk of cancer
- Increases immunity - fewer cold and flu
- Maintains healthy body weight
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Reduces risk of losing eyesight
- Reduces risk if Alzheimer's disease
- Reduce risk of Heart disease, Diabetes, Stroke, Obesity, Birth defects, Cataract and Osteoporosis etc.
- Helps in having clear skin, shiny hair and bright eyes
- Good taste and smell, add colors to your plate and your life
- Seasonal, hence easily available and can make great snacks
(Vandita Jain is Delhi-based nutritionist and Diabetes educator)
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