Nutrition comes in many forms – from the food we ingest, through vitamins and supplements we may take and even how our body produces and distributes vitamin D while basking in the sun’s rays. Nutritious food and supplements keep our bodies running.
Have you ever stopped to think about which foods are the healthiest and what their colors mean? Typically, we’re so busy grocery shopping that we ignore the colors of the rainbow while picking fruits and vegetables.
According to Food Insight, here is what certain colors mean:
- Orange foods such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash and cantaloupe include a plant compound known as carotenoids. Carotenoids include beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A.
- Live Science says: Oranges offer many health benefits; they may boost the immune system, give you better skin and yes, even help improve your health and cholesterol levels. Some evidence also suggests that eating this orange fruit may help reduce the risk of respiratory diseases, cancers, ulcers and kidney stones.
Did you know that vitamin A has been said to support white blood cell functionality? It also promotes healthy bone growth. And if you incorporate an orange into your meals or even meal planning routines, your immune system just may be in tip-top shape for impactful workouts.
- Dark green vegetables are a functional food component powerhouse! Included in the long list of nutrients found in these veggies are potassium, dietary fiber, folate, as well as vitamins A, E and C.
- The University of Kentucky says: Dark, leafy vegetables may act as antioxidants in the body. The substances in dark green vegetables remove free radicals from the human body before they become harmful. And some research has even found that green vegetables can stop the growth of certain types of cancers.
3. Foods that are blue, purple, crimson and even brown are gaining popularity due to the fact that they contain flavonoids. Berries, cherries, red grapes, red wine, dark chocolate, cocoa and some teas are good sources.
- EatingWell says: An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study – a survey of eating and health habits – found that adults who ingest purple and blue foods have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol. Those adults are also less likely to be overweight.
Did you know that flavonoids are beneficial to human health? It is said that they may contribute to proper brain function and yes, even blood flow. Also be sure to eat your blueberries and grapes and incorporate them into your weekly meal planning rotation! They’d go great with a medium-to-large-sized salad or healthy desserts that require a nutritious boost.
4. Whole wheat breads, cereals and pastas that are high in fiber are usually tan in color. The insoluble fiber found in wheat and corn bran, fruit and vegetable skins and whole grains may contribute to the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract and reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
- Healthline says: A favorite side dish – brown rice – is high in manganese. This little-known mineral is vital for many important processes in the human body, such as bone development, wound healing, muscle contraction metabolism, nerve function and even blood sugar regulation.
- White foods such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and some cheeses are packed with vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus. These vitamins and minerals aid in bone health and may help maintain healthy body weight.
- The Healthy says: Quinoa are little wonder grains that actually among the most nutrient-dense foods a human can ingest; that means you get the most nutrients for the fewest amount of calories. Quinoa has fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and also B vitamins. Rene Ficek also adds, “Quinoa provides important vitamins and minerals, which protect against early aging and cancer. It also provides healthy fats and can decrease inflammation, which is good for the heart.”
Did you know that a white food we all eat – yogurt – contains probiotics? Probiotics are tiny bacteria that promote a healthy digestive system and even support immune function.
Always remember to follow the rainbow when it comes to forming healthy nutrition habits. When you add color into your diet, you can’t go wrong.
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