Can the colours of foods be an indication of their health benefits?
The short answer is yes and although by no means a definitive answer this is how it works.
Yellows, Oranges and Reds
eg. Bananas, Carrots, Corn, Lemons, Mangoes (the yellow flesh), Oranges,Peppers, Pomengrantes, Strawberries, Tomatoes
Foods of this colour contain anti-oxidants called carotenes and are essential for fighting the effects of ageing and protecting us from the effects of stress, pollution and the sun.
eg. Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Leeks, Sprouts
Greens can help you lose weight buy suppressing the enzymes in your body that trigger cravings for sweet, high sugar, high fat foods. They also contain the anti-oxidant selenium which aids metabolic function. Make green foods your best friends and your health and appearance will both improve.
Blues & Purples
eg. Beetroot, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Cherries, Pomegranates, Grapes, Prunes, Raspberries
Blue and purple foods are good for your circulation and improve cardio & vascular function. Full of antioxidants called flavonoids, they can prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation, are anti-viral, anti-fungal and improve the function of Vitamin C. They are also known to help the fight against tooth decay.
eg. Nuts, Chickpeas, Couscous, Seeds, Potatoes, Tofu, Brown Rice, Brown pasta
Brown foods are full of healthy fibres which aid digestion and bowel function and are a rich source of zinc, magnesium and Vitamins B & E. They can lower cholesterol and keep hunger at bay. Their white cousins raise your blood sugar levels and increase cravings for high fat, high sugar foods.
I am using some licence here… eg. Poultry & Game, Fish, Meat, Cottage cheese, Milk, Eggs, Yoghurt
White foods are high in protein, calcium, & omega-3, which when deficient can lead to dry skin and water retention. Fish is by far the best source of Omega-3, an amazing nutrient which can lower your cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, protect you from heart attacks, ease joint pains, fight wrinkles and skin ailments, and improve your memory.
We’ve always known that a balanced diet is one that works well so I guess that a colourful plateful of food is more than just appetising. If your mother, like mine, was keen for you to eat your ‘greens’ she clearly knew what she was talking about- just please don’t tell her – I’ll never hear the end of it!