Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables such as: apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, mangoes, papayas, peaches, yellow peppers, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes contain the natural plant pigment called “carotenoids.” Carotenoids play an essential role in the health of our eyes, as well as reducing the risk of cancers, heart disease, and improving our overall immune system.
Red fruits and vegetables such as: beets, red cabbage, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, red grapes, red peppers, pomegranates, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon contain natural plant pigments called “lycopene” and “anthocyanins.” Lycopene is a carotenoid that has been found to help reduce the risk of cancers, especially prostate cancer. Anthocyanins act as a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect our cells from free radical damage and keep our heart healthy.
Green fruits and vegetables such as: artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, kiwi, lettuce, green onions, and peas are colored by the natural plant pigment cholrophyl. Dark green fruits and vegetables provide an excellent source of the antioxidants lutein and indoles. Lutein (found in foods such as dark greens, peas, and green peppers) works to support eye health and reduce the risk of cataracts. Indoles (found in broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables ), have been found to provide protection against some cancers.
Blue/purple fruits and vegetables such as: blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, prunes, plums, and purple grapes contain the natural plant pigment called “anthocyanins.” Anthocyanins have been found to protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of cancers and heart disease.
White fruits and vegetables such as: bananas, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, and white onions contain the natural plant pigment “anthoxanthins.” Anthoxanthins have been linked to a decrease in cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as reducing the risk for stomach cancer.
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.