Health colour coding by phytonutrients.
Phytonutrients (phytochemicals), as natural compounds and often pigments found in vegetables and fruits, give plants their rich colour, as well as, their specific taste and smell. They have many benefits for humans e.g. may help prevent cancers.
Phytonutrients are present naturally in fruits and vegetables in quite complex mixtures of different compounds with compatible properties. They are working together as a team in such compositions, so eating fresh plants, dried forms of them or plant powders is the most beneficial for us. Generally, in healthy diet meals should base on plants or the food should be fortified with plant powders, in a balanced way. To simplify a set up the diet plan, colours of plants and their powders can be used as codes for delivered benefits.
The best way to properly balance the intake of phytonutrients is to eat a variety of plant based on their colours and types (including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, spices, etc.). So, let's look into the naturally colour coding benefits.
Blue/Purple colour means high in anthocyanin content, as well as, phenolics and flavonoids. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that are particularly heart healthy by preventing clot formation and may help support healthy blood pressure. Blue/purple composition of phytochemicals also supports brain and bone health, as well as, gives antioxidant protection for slowly ageing.
This colour phytonutrients composition is delivered by eggplant (especially the skin), blueberries, blackberries, prunes, plums, pomegranates, acai berries, elderberries, purple grapes and black beans.
Red/Pink colour is defined by a presence of carotenoids (like lycopene), ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, anthocyanidins. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, especially prostate cancer, and protection against heart attacks. Presented flavonoids reduce inflammation and also have antioxidant properties. Some plants from this group are a good source of tannins, which prevent bacteria from attaching to cells. A red composition of phytochemicals usually supports prostate, urinary tract and DNA health, as well.
This colour phytonutrients composition is delivered by tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, red grapes, pomegranate, red cabbage, red bell pepper, radishes and cayenne pepper.
Orange/Yellow colour is caused by a presence of red pigments, like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin and hesperidin, in lower concentrations. Beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene can be converted in the human body to vitamin A - a nutrient integral for vision and immune function, as well as skin and bone health. Phytonutrients with this colour also support healthy immune function, skin hydration and overall growth & development.
This colour phytonutrients composition is delivered by carrots, mangos, cantaloupe, winter squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apricots, yellow grapefruit, apricots, papaya, peaches, mango, yellow and orange bell peppers, squash, corn, tangerine and turmeric.
Yellow/Green colour means usually a presence of lutein and a higher concentration of vitamin C. Lutein is particularly beneficial for eye health (in the macula of the eye, there are lutein receptors and lutein attached there helps protect against age-related macular degeneration). Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant.
This colour phytonutrients composition is delivered by avocado, kiwifruit, pistachios, spinach and other leafy greens.
Dark Green colour is a warranty of excellent source of chlorophyll, lutein/zeaxanthin, isoflavones, epigallocatechin gallate, indoles, isothiocyanates, sulphoraphane, vitamin K, folic acid, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Isothiocyanates induce enzymes in the liver that assist the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds. Indoles may also have anticancer properties. Folic acid is needed to prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy. Vitamin K is essential for blood clot formation. Potassium is associated with lowering blood pressure. Epigallocatechin gallate has been found to decrease the risk of developing atherosclerosis. In addition, sulforaphane was found to detoxify cancer-causing chemicals before they do a damage to the body.
This colour phytonutrients composition is delivered by leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like kale, parsley, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, green tea, oregano, green artichokes, asparagus, cilantro, collard greens, okra, turnip greens and watercress.
Brown-White colour means a presence of epigallocatechin gallate, allicin, quercetin, indoles, glucosinolates. This composition supports healthy bones, circulatory health and arterial functions.
This colour phytonutrients composition is delivered by cauliflower, garlic, onions, mushrooms, turnips, horseradish, white kidney beans, pears, apples, ginger, cocoa, dried beans, flax seeds, ginger, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
It is advised to eat 5-10 times of phytochemicals in food/supplements every day.