Why is the colour of your food important?

I love a colourful salad, lots of vibrancy with purples, oranges, reds and greens.  Not only does it look pretty, but the colour in your food is a good health indicator too.  Here is what the colours mean:

Purple – deep rich burgundy colours like in eggplant, beetroot, purple grapes and purple cabbage contain  anthocyanins and consequently may be responsible for reducing the risk of high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.  These compounds mop up free radicals and soothe inflammation.  You can easily add grated beetroot to a salad to give it a bit of extra crunch and your healthy boost.

Orange – vibrant warm colours like in carrots, oranges, pumpkins contain flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is vitamin A.  These nutrients aid in eye health, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol.  Orange foods make a delicious and easy salad – roast some pumpkin, grate up carrots, quarter some oranges, sprinkle some sultanas and olive oil and you have a very easy fresh summery salad.

Red – glowing bright coloured foods like tomatoes, red capsicum, strawberries, cherries are full of the following nutrients; lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  These winners help to protect the body from prostate, cervical and lung cancer, reduce tumour growth, and protect the body against heart disease. 

Green – leafy looking lovelies like spinach, broccoli, zucchini contain chorophyll which is responsible for the colouring, but they also contain fibre, luteinzeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene.  These nutrients boost the immune system, help to cleanse the blood, and fight free radicals in your body to help reduce the risk of cancer. 

 


Catherine Craig
Catherine Craig

Author