Feed your body the rainbow

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

The pigments that give vegetables and fruits their beautiful vibrant colours, come with their own array of health benefits. These pigments, otherwise known as phytonutrients have powerful antioxidant effects and help to protect your overall health. It is important to eat foods of every colour to ensure you are getting the greatest variety of nutrients. The organs and pathways in your body require specific phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, present in different coloured foods in order to function optimally. Eating the colours of the rainbow will nourish your body and help you to achieve optimal health.

Red foods

Those beautiful ruby red vegetables and fruits are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which protects the cardiovascular system and helps to prevent against cell mutation.

  • Capsicum cleanses the liver and intestines, helps to improve circulation of the blood and protects the retina of the eyes from damage.
  • Tomatoes help to reduce cholesterol levels, improve eye sight and keep the digestive system healthy.
  • Strawberries can offer relief to those with gout or arthritis, support a healthy immune system and help to lower blood pressure.

Orange foods

The delicious sunset orange foods are rich in the antioxidant beta carotene which is brilliant for protecting the brain against ageing, supporting healthy skin and maintaining eye health.

  • Oranges are rich in fibre to support healthy bowel motions, protect against viral infections and support kidney and liver health.
  • Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce joint pain, maintain healthy cholesterol levels and improve overall mood.
  • Carrots soothe and repair inflammation and ulceration in the stomach and intestines, improve night vision and improve blood sugar control.

Yellow foods

These happy coloured vegetables and fruits are full of bioflavonoids and carotenoids which support the immune system and wound healing.

  • Pineapple is packed with the enzyme bromelain which breaks down mucous and supports healthy sinuses, improves protein digestion and is anti-inflammatory.
  • Yellow squash can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, maintain healthy bones and protect cells against damage and mutation.
  • Lemons can help to dissolve gallstones and gout, can reduce the risk of blood clotting and are an excellent liver cleanser.

Green foods

The emerald green foods we love to eat are rich in chlorophyll to reduce acidity in the body and are essential for maintaining healthy blood and DNA.

  • Watercress is excellent for cleansing the bile ducts, liver and gallbladder, helps to reduce fluid retention and supports healthy digestion.
  • Avocado is rich in healthy fats that nourish the brain, support healthy skin and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
  • Broccoli is rich in sulphur to strengthen liver detoxification, improving blood glucose management and can also assist in weight loss.

Purple foods

There are no naturally blue foods, so we will skip straight to purple. Beautiful indigo vegetables and fruits contain anthocyanins which have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and cell mutation.

  • Purple cabbage is excellent for soothing and repairing the intestinal lining, supporting liver detoxification and cleansing the skin.
  • Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants and help to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure, balance blood sugar and maintain brain function.
  • Beetroot helps to build red blood cells, reduce hardening of the arteries and is a fantastic liver and gallbladder cleanser.

Pink foods

Fruits and vegetables that are pink in colour, are usually grouped in with red or purple foods and are high in antioxidants and minerals.

  • Ruby grapefruits are fantastic for reducing gallstones and calcium build up in the joints, aid in weight loss and cleanse the skin.
  • Pomegranates help to eliminate intestinal parasites and bacterial overgrowth, cleanse the kidneys and support healthy bowel motions.
  • Watermelon supports healthy kidney and bladder function, replenishes electrolytes and reduces hot flushes.

White foods

Whilst white is not technically a colour of the rainbow, white foods are worth mentioning because some of them are highly nutritious.

  • Garlic is rich in allicin which is effective in fighting infection, reducing bad cholesterol and thinning the blood to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Cauliflower is a nutritious cruciferous vegetable that helps to prevent against cell mutation, strengthens detoxification pathways and helps to boost cognitive function.
  • Coconut is packed with healthy fats which nourishes the skin, helps to relieve peptic ulcers and can kill off bad bacteria.

There you have it – a rainbow full of nutritious vegetables and fruits that you can integrate into your regular diet. Endeavour to eat as many raw foods as you can, to ensure you are obtaining the greatest amount of nutrients, as cooking vegetables can often destroy nutrients. Raw juicing is a great way to get concentrated antioxidants into your system. For therapeutic juice recipes for any ailment, see Dr Cabot’s book – Raw Juices Can Save Your Life.

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