Did you know that the color of the food you eat can tell you just what it contains? Barring foods that have food coloring, the hue of a particular fruit or vegetable can give you insight to how it’s going to benefit your body.
Red – Food that has the ruby coloring owes its appearance to either lycopene or anthocyanins. The former is found in tomatoes, watermelons and papayas. This phytochemical is being studied for its anti-cancer potential which works best against lung, prostate and stomach cancer. For other red fruits like strawberries and cherries, anthocyanins are responsible for their red color. Anthocyanin is a great antioxidant.
Yellow/Orange – Food with a yellow or orange color are most likely full of carotenoids. These natural pigments can help improve the immune system as well as lower the risk for heart-related ailments. Citrus fruits (oranges and lemons) are great sources of Vitamin C while Beta-carotene rich foods like sweet potatoes and pumpkins are filled with Vitamin A.
Green – When your mother told you to eat your greens, she was doing so because of their many benefits. Green leafy vegetables contain lutein, a chemical which works with xeanthanin (found in eggs, corn, peppers, etc) to keep your eyes healthy, and folate, a B vitamin that can prevent birth defects when eaten by pregnant women. Indoles in cruciferous vegetables are also great in preventing certain types of cancer.
Blue/Purple – Fruits that are colored blue or purple also contain large amounts of anthocyanins. These pigments were found to have great potential in battling against cancer, diabetes, bacterial infections and inflammation. They may also possess analgesic and neuroprotective properties.