It is a known fact that eating 5-9 portions of fruits and vegetables everyday has its health benefits. Fruits and vegetables provide the dietary fibres in our body that helps in digestion. Experts also opine that the variety of colours that one eats is also as important as the portions eaten. The more variety of colours your food is in, the more nutrients you can expect to get from what you eat.
Let us look at what each colour category of fruits and vegetables has to offer by way of nutrition:
- White: White fruits and vegetables, are high in dietary fibre, and helps protect against high cholesterol. According to a study by a group of Dutch researchers with American Heart Association, published in 2011, after a 10-year diet study, it was found that people who ate white fruits and vegetables reduced their risk of stroke by 52 per cent. Try to include apples, pears, bananas, cauliflower and cucumbers in your diet.
- Red: fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, beets, strawberries guava, kidney beans, are rich in the antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanin. They help in memory function and for keeping a healthy heart. Even tomato sauce for that matter is a rich source of lycopene, even more than raw tomato. Cranberries have the property of preventing the bacteria stick to the wall of bladder, thereby preventing urinary tract infection.
- Yellow and Orange : Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, that helps the body in converting to vitamin A. Vitamin A is a nutrient that improves night vision, in addition to keeping the skin, teeth and bones healthy. Folate, an antioxidant that is needed to prevent neural tube defects in unborn infants is also found in this variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Green: The vitamin K in green natural food helps the blood to clot properly besides their better known benefits of keeping the eyes, bones and teeth healthy. They also contain phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect you from vision loss due to eye diseases such as macular degeneration.
- Blue and Purple: The antioxidant properties of anthocyanin present in blue and purple fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. The flavonoids and ellagic acid also present in them destroy certain cancer causing cells
Eating plenty of healthy vegetables and fruits helps in controlling blood pressure, prevention of heart disease or strokes, prevention of some types of cancer, besides other disease including macular degeneration or vision loss. Therefore be sure to include a variety of colours in your fruits and vegetables besides keeping your portion sizes correct.
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