We’ve always thought the instructions to ‘eat a rainbow’ every day made food choices really simple – but it seems that, being such a wise and enquiring lot, our yogis want to know WHY?!
And as usual, if you ask, we will deliver (within reason…).
The simple answer is PHYTONUTRIENTS, the natural compounds in plants, which give them their individual, distinctive colours, tastes and smells.
Dominique Ludwig, our nutritionist partner in our Transform Now programme, gives the best explanation:
‘In the human body, phytonutrients play a vital role in many processes such as toxin elimination, hormone metabolism and strengthening the immune system – particularly important as we head for winter and the cold weather beloved of so many bugs, alongside continuing concerns around the COVID-19 virus.
There are around 25,000 phytonutrients in plants; they are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, but are also found in spices, herbs, legumes and teas.
What are the effects of eating all these different coloured foods?
Different colours have different benefits and the general rule is the deeper the colour the greater the benefit.
Eating apples, beetroot, red pepper, etc tend to be anti-inflammatory and generally good for immunity, prostate and vascular health.
Apricots, carrots, turmeric, oranges are often anti-bacterial – good for the immune system, the skin and reproductive health, as well as being an excellent source of vitamin A.
lemon, pineapple, ginger. These foods have anti-cancer properties as well as supporting eye, heart, skin and vascular health.
Dark green leafy veg such as cabbages and kale, broccoli, along with other green foods such as artichoke, asparagus, sprouts etc – also anti-inflammatory, and many offer anti-oxidant protection. They are linked to skin, brain, heart and liver health as well as balancing the hormones.
BLUE, PURPLE, BLACK
The darker berries, cabbages, carrots, onions etc are very important for anti-oxidants, cell protection, immune support, and are excellent anti-inflammatory foods. They are great brain food!
WHITE AND BEIGE
Kohlrabi, cauliflower, legumes, garlic, onion…generally good for digestive health, hormone balance and the heart.