5 Shades of Nutrition

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Fitting in all of your essential vitamins and nutrients may be easier than it appears. Just use the rainbow as your guide.

Colorful fruits and veggies contain an abundance of health benefits to the entire body and overall health. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, these foods will give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly and keep you feeling good.

In addition to natural colored fruits and veggies, colored herbs are also good for your health. Below, we have outlined your five shades of nutrients!

1. Red

Red is a strong color of life which can be symbolic of your heart and arteries. A lot of red fruits and veggies serve as a great source for hearth health and can help prevent heart disease. Juicy tomatoes, sweet strawberries, crispy red peppers and spicy red cayenne peppers are just a few of the foods in this red hot color. Red fruits and veggies are filled with vitamin C, vitamin A, and lycopene.

Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables and is commonly used to support the immune system and heart health.

Lycopene, a natural chemical that gives food a red color, is used to prevent heart disease, keep your arteries healthy, help with skin protection, and contains fiber to help with your digestive tract. Tomatoes are an abundant source of lycopene, but it is also found in watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots and pink guavas.

Red fruits and veggies are also a great source of vitamin A, which helps support your immune system and vision. Vitamin A is made up retinoids (found in animal foods) and carotenoids (found in plants). The carotenoids also serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Red herbs and spices like cinnamon and ground red pepper are also good for your health. Cinnamon spices are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon spice may contain the highest anti-oxidant strength of all food sources in nature. On the other hand, ground red pepper is a great source for vitamins and essential minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B and selenium.

2. Orange

Orange as a color represents an abundance of strength and life, and foods this color can help you feel the same way!  Tangerines, carrots, pumpkins, peaches, guavas, sweet potatoes, papayas, mangoes, apricots and oranges all fall under the orange spectrum of the food rainbow. Orange fruits and veggies provide a wide range of health benefits and are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene is the best known nutrient in orange foods, and serves as the powerful antioxidant that gives sunny, yellow and orange fruits and veggies their bright color. Beta-carotene, a vitamin A retinoid, is good for eye health and anti-aging. Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body, especially in the eyes.

Orange fruits and veggies are also stock full of vitamin C, another strong antioxidant which boosts the immune system and protects against cardiovascular disease.

Turmeric, the element that makes mustard bright yellow, a spice commonly used in curry that is filled with health benefits for your body and brain.

3. Yellow

Yellow is another bright color that represents happiness, joy and health. Bright colored fruits and veggies contain flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A. Lemons, bananas, yellow peppers, squash, pineapple, and corn are all great examples of this healthful, yellow food group!

Yellow fruits and veggies contain carotenoids and bioflavonoids, water-soluble plant pigments that function as antioxidants. Like other foods containing these compounds, they provide an abundance of health benefits for your heart, vision, digestion and skin.

Yellow herbs, such as goldenseal, can be used as an astringent or antiseptic and if often used to fight the common cold. Dandelion, another yellow herb, is used to assist with weight control, anemia, and indigestion. Ginger is a yellow healing root known to help with nausea, gas and inflammation. Ginger contains beneficial essential oils that help improve digestions and intestinal inflammation.

4. Green

Green represents nature, the environment, and wellness! Green fruits and veggies are packed with fiber and beta-carotene. Some of this green group includes kale, collards, broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, kiwis, limes, green peppers and zucchinis.

Green fruits and veggies contain phytochemicals such as lutein and indoles which help lower your risk of certain cancers, improve eye health, and promote healthy and healthy bones. Broccoli is high in calcium and iron for healthy bones while spinach is full of antioxidants and vitamin K.

Green supplements and herbs are also packed with health benefits. Spirulina is a blue-green algae packed with antioxidants, B-vitamins, and nutrients to support your immune system and provide a variety of health benefits. Mint is an herb also contains essential volatile oils that effect cold-sensitive receptors in the skin, mouth and throat. It is also an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium and iron.

5. Blue & Violet

This colorful food group gets its color from anthocyanin, a water-soluble pigment that has been linked with antioxidants and anti-aging properties in the body. Depending on its pH level, the pigment may appear red, purple or blue. Some foods that fall into this color spectrum include blueberries, blackberries, plums, beets, grapes, eggplant, and onions.

Blue and purple foods contain lypocene, flavonoids, and vitamins D & K. They help promote bone health, can help lower the risk of certain cancers, improve memory and increase urinary-tract health.

Blueberries are high in fiber, vitamins E & C, and antioxidants. Eating blueberries has been known to improved cholesterol, increased urinary-tract health, and boost brain activity. Plums, however, are high in vitamin K, which helps promote bone health, and vitamin B, which boosts your immune system, metabolism and heart health.

5 Shades of Nutrition

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