Red Fruits and Vegetables
The phytochemicals in red foods are carotenoids and anthocyanins. One of the most abundant carotenoids is lycopene. Lycopene helps reduce damage from free radicals in your body and it also prevents heart disease, cancer, prostrate problems, and reduces the skin damage from the sun. These red foods help memory function, urinary tract health, and makes your heart healthy.
Red fruits and vegetables are also often very high in vitamin C, which helps encourage cellular renewal in your body.
Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Carotenoids are the powerful phytochemical in orange foods, and they are what give the foods their color. Carotenoids repair DNA and help prevent cancer and heart disease, as well as strengthening our vision.
These orange foods also give us the right amount of potassium and vitamin A, which keeps our eyes and skin healthy, and protects against infections. They are also known to boost the immune system because of the vitamin C content in many of them. Some of these also cross over with the health benefits of the yellow foods below.
Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
Yellow foods are high in antioxidants like vitamin C. Vitamin C keeps our teeth and gums healthy, helps to heal cuts, improves the mucus membranes (like when we have colds), helps to absorb iron, prevents inflammation, improves circulation, and therefore prevents heart disease. Some of the darker ones also cross over with the health benefits of orange foods.
Green Fruits and Vegetables
These foods have the phytochemicals sulforaphane and indoles, which both prevent cancer. They are also good for the circulatory system and have good vitamin B and minerals.
On this list of fruits and vegetables, the vitamin K in green foods also helps with vision, and with maintaining strong bones and teeth. Some of the yellower green vegetables have carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that help to prevent cataracts and eye disease, as well as osteoporosis.
Greenish/White Fruits and Vegetables
The strong phytochemical in these whitish/greenish vegetables is called allicin and allium, which create an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral chemical environment in your body.
Some white foods prevent cancer and heart disease, and lower cholesterol levels. Celery is often dubbed as a useless vegetable because it has no calories, but it does have minerals like good sodium that help keep the joints healthy. The selenium in mushrooms helps prevent cancer and keeps your body in balance.
Everything on this greenish/white list of fruits and vegetables helps maintain low cholesterol levels in your body as well as a healthy heart.
Blue/Indigo/Violet Fruits and Vegetables
The blue, indigo, and violet list of fruits and vegetables are great for their anti-aging properties. These foods have tons of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins and phenolics. Some blue and purple fruits and vegetables are also really high in vitamin C.
Anything in this category will help improve circulation and prevent blood clots, so they are great for the heart and can help prevent heart disease. They are also known to help memory function and urinary tract health and to reduce free radical damage.
Be certain to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. For your health, for your nutrients, for disease fighting antigens .... and because they are simply delicious!!
If the fruit of vegetable contains a skin or peel, which will be discarded prior to consumption - it is not necessary to spend the extra money on organic. However, if the skin or peel is consumed, such as in the case of an apple, it is advisable to purchase organically to avoid the ingestion of pesticides and other chemicals.
Don't forget to buy local produce whenever possible and to save money, buy what is in season!!