Did you know that the colors of the foods that you eat are indicators of the types of vitamins and trace minerals that are in that food? It is true, they are called phytonutrients. Our bodies are a collection of these trace elements, many of the cells in our various systems have a greater degree of one or another of these. The research is far from finished, but nutritionists are encouraging us to eat some of each colored food on a daily basis to replenish our cells with the best nutrition for each system.
Good health starts with the foods that we put into our bodies, you have heard the computer programming term GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). It is as true for our health as for a computer program. Your diet should consist of foods that will keep your body systems functioning at their peak levels.
Here is what I mean:
- White Group—Allicin, Quercetin—To maintain healthy bones, increase circulatory health, and support arterial functions. What is in this group? Onions, Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Pears, Garlic Horseradish, Potatoes,White beans.
- Yellow/Orange Group—Carotenes (Alpha, Beta) Hesperidin, Beta-Cryptoxanthin(Yep that’s a mouthful)— For eye health, immune system health, Healthy skin growth and development. Remember, Mom said; Eat your Carrots, Cantaloupe, Oranges, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Papaya, Corn, Pineapple, Passion-fruit
- Red Group—Lycopene, Ellagic Acid—For DNA health and Prostate Maintenance– Red Apples, Cranberries, Watermelon, Pink grapefruit, Tomatoes, Cherries, Strawberries, Radishes, Raspberries, Guava.
- Purple Group—Resveratrol, Anthocynidins—Cognitive health, Heart health, Anti-oxidant protection, Healthy Arteries. Grapes, Blueberries, Black Currants, Eggplant. Black beans, Plums, Beets, Purple potato, Figs, Red Cabbage.
- Green Group—Lutein/Zeaxanthin, EGCG,Isoflavones, Isothiocinate—Cell Health, Lung Health, Healthy Liver Function, Healthy Arterial Function. Spinach, Green Pepper, Watercress, Lettuce, Zucchini, Brocoli, Brussel Sprouts, Green Beans, Soybeans, Green Tea, Kale
The cells in our bodies are comprised of more of certain of these nutrients in some areas than others. For instance, the cells that make up your eyeball contain more lutein than the cells that make up your liver or heart. Each of these food groups should be represented in your daily diet. I am sure that you know that individual cells die (something like 50,000 a second) and are replaced on a daily basis, so it is important to supply the necessary building blocks to replenish them.
There is much that can be said about each of these categories. Antioxidants are critical, (You don’t want to be rusting away on the inside and that is exactly what oxidation does, not good) Feeding the heart and brain of course is very important. The bottom line is that since we are whole systems we need to keep all the parts nourished. By eating right, adding foods from each of these categories on a daily basis we are giving our body a chance to have complete nourishment.
Phytonutrient research has now given us a way to understand nutrition in a very simple way, just follow the rainbow, the pot of gold will be your lasting health.