The Colours of Food Matter
Does this headline sound strange? Well, an article in the Journal of Nutrition ‘Applying Science to changing dietary patterns’ by D. Heber & S. Bowerman, put forward a colour code for healthy eating. They state that:
“Red foods contain lycopene, the pigment in tomatoes, which is localised in the prostate gland and may be involved in prostate health.”
“Red-purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are powerful anti-oxidants found in red apples, grapes, berries and wine.”
“Orange foods, including carrots, mangos, apricots, pumpkin and winter squash contain beta-carotene.” (Note: Anyone with lung cancer should not consume large quantities of beta carotene)
“Yellow-green vegetables, such as corn and leafy greens, contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are localised in the retina where age related macular degeneration occurs”
“Green foods, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale, are cruciferous vegetables and contain isothiocyanates (we’ll call them ITCs” These ITCs all seem to have anti-cancer properties both in preventing cancer and in inhibiting the growth of existing cancers.
Consumers are advised to ingest one serving of each of the above groups daily. It is this type of research that has led to the advice of eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables in a rainbow of colours. The colour code provides simplification, while traveling, eating in restaurants or working.
Ref Nutr. 2001. Vol 131.(11 suppl) 3078S-3081S.