Eating and drinking the rainbow isn't just a fun trend; with regards to antioxidants, eating an array of colours actually adds nutritional value to your life. Antioxidant properties are usually found in highly pigmented foods, and each colour food group has different benefits, so eating the rainbow in this sense ensures you're getting the most benefits from your diet.
If you're already enriching your diet with antioxidant-rich foods such as green vegetables and berries, read on to get a better idea of why it's time to taste the antioxidant rainbow!
What: Tomatoes, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, raspberries, pomegranate, radishes, etc.
Benefits: Although each fruit and vegetable has its own specific properties, foods with red pigments collectively contain a compound called lycopene which aids in reducing the risk of common cancers such as colon and prostate cancer and heart disease.
Yellow and Orange
What: Carrots, lemons, pumpkins, pineapples, oranges, and grapefruit.
Benefits: These are packed full of carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin, which are beneficial in reducing the risk of lung cancer, maintaining and restoring eye health, and reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
What: Asparagus, kale, spinach, artichokes, parsley, rocket, limes, etc.
Benefits: Aside from being a great source of fibre and several minerals like heart-healthy folate, cruciferous vegetables (and most other green veggies) also contain phytochemicals such as saponins, carotenoids, and indoles. By eating green veg, you'll be getting the benefits of lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, protecting cells from DNA damage, blood cleansing, and reducing the risk of cancer.
Purple and Blue
What: Beetroot, acai, red cabbage, aubergines, blueberries, purple asparagus, blackcurrants, etc.
Benefits: Anthocynanins are the main antioxidants found in purple-pigmented foods and have a long list of benefits including slowing and reducing the risk of degenerative diseases such as heart disease and dementia.
Brown and White
What: Mushrooms, cauliflower, ginger, dates, turnips, garlic, bananas, white peaches, oats, etc.
Benefits: White foods are packed with powerful compounds such as beta-glucans to promote normal function of the immune system, protecting you from disease and infection. Each food has its own individual properties; for instance, garlic contains high levels of allicin, which has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties.