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For good nutrition, make your plate as colorful as the rainbow.
“Eat all the colors of the rainbow,”Dr. Michelle Hauser, a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School said in a Harvard Men’s Health Watch article.
“These colors signal the presence of diverse phytochemicals and phytonutrients," which can lower rates of heart diseases and cancer, Hauser explained.
By increasing the color diversity in your diet, your body gets a broader spectrum of nutrients and higher protection against diseases.
Perhaps you still recall ROY-G-BIV from grade school, the initials of the colors of the rainbow does not only apply in science class but also in preparing for healthier meals.
To help you get started with the “Rainbow diet,” here are the health benefits associated with the food’s color and some examples:
Red-colored fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, lycopene, and vitamin C. According to Harvard Health Publishing, lycopene may eliminate free radicals, reduce inflammation and cholesterol, and improve immune function. Tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelon are some of the red fruits and vegetables that grow in the Philippines.
Orange and Yellow
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables get their color primarily from beta-carotene, which boosts the immune system and “naturally empowers the body to handle stressors like free radicals that cause oxidative damage and initiate cancer development,” Dr. David Jockers, a functional nutritionist, said in an article. Examples include papaya, mango, squash, and sweet potato.
Green fruits and veggies are rich in plant compounds that improve health including folate and carotenoids that form vitamin A. Greens also contain the life-giving compound called chlorophyll, which regulates hunger hormones, improves insulin levels, promotes natural detoxification, and helps heal damage tissues, according to Jockers. Avocado, spinach, arugula, and lettuce are some examples.
Blue, Indigo, and Violet
Anthocyanins, which prevents genetic damage, reduces inflammation, and inhibits cancer activity, provides the dark blue and purple pigmentation of fruits and vegetables, Jockers explained. Some purple-colored food found in the Philippines are eggplants and ube or purple yam.
Naturally white food like onions and garlics are highly nutritious that helps purify the blood, detoxify the liver, regulate healthy cellular growth, and reduce inflammation that can damage the vascular system, according to Jocker. They are rich in allicin that destroys viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and inhibits cancer growth, he added.
Organically-grown vegetables are available at ECHOstore branches in Serendra in Taguig City, Salcedo Village in Makati City, and Centris Walk in Quezon City.