Your 5 a day rainbow
BLUE / PURPLE
The blue and purple hues in food are primarily due to their anthocyanin content. The darker the blue hue the higher the concentration. Anthocyanins are antioxidants and are important for heart health and support healthy blood pressure. They help ward off heart disease by preventing clot formation. These may also help lower the risk of cancer. The colour is a sign that the food is ripe and ready to eat.
Aubergine, blueberries, blackberries, prunes, plums and pomegranates. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant activity of all foods.
Green vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin K, folic acid, potassium as well as carotenoids and omega 3 fatty acids. Folic acid is needed to prevent tube defects in pregnancy and vitamin K is essential in blood clot formation. Diets high in potassium are associated with lowering blood pressure and there is a strong link between these vegetables and preventing cancer, especially colon and bladder cancers.
Broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts.
YELLOW / GREEN
A Variation of the green colour, these foods are high in Lutein which is beneficial for eye health. There are lutein receptors in the macula of the eye and lutein helps protect against age related macular degeneration. Another source of lutein is pistachio nuts in the green skin around the nut.
Yellow Pepper, Avocado, Kiwifruit, Melon, Spinach
RED / PINK
Lycopene is the pigment in reddish fruits and veggies. A carotenoid, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with reduced risk of some cancers, especially prostate cancer, and protection against heart attacks. In addition to vitamin c and folate, red fruits and vegetables are also sources of flavonoids which reduce inflammation. Cranberries are a good source of tannin which prevent bacteria attaching to cells.
Tomatoes, Watermelon, Pink Grapefruit, Guava, Cranberries.
YELLOW / ORANGE
Foods this colour are commonly considered the eyesight food as they contain vitamin A, high levels of vitamin c and omega 3 fatty acid. Eyesight is dependent on the presence of vitamin A. These foods protect our eyes from cataracts, help with blood sugar regulation and have anti-inflammatory properties. Orange fruits and vegetables play a part in preventing cancer, especially lung, oesophagus and stomach cancers. They may also reduce risk of heart disease and improve immune function.
Carrots, Mango, Cantaloupe, Squash, Sweet Potato, Pumpkins, Apricot.