Eat a Rainbow!
It's the colour of food that makes it extraordinary! Within each color are
brightly coloured, disease-fighting phytochemicals. Study after study proves
their healing power. Evidence suggests that single plant pigments need other
phytochemicals within that plant and from others to provide all their benefits.
Supplements do not offer the same protective benefits as foods.
Top choices: sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, oranges, butternut squash,
pumpkin, mangoes, kale, spinach.
Secret Ingredients: beta carotene, alpha carotene
- Cancer Fighter: Carotene acts as our defense mechanism to resist
carcinogens. Carotenoids in fresh food can offset the effects of exposure to
environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke.
- Natural Sunblock: Yellow and orange foods can act as our body's own
- Skin: keeps eyes and skin
The Reds, Purples and Blues
Top choices: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, saskatoon berries,
cranberries, apples, cherries, pomegranates, red grapes, beets, red cabbage,
Secret Ingredients: anthocyanin, betacyanin, proanthocyanidins
- Brain Rejuvenators: Red and blue fruit such as blueberries and
strawberries are packed with anthocyanin pigments, which are very potent
antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They rid the body of free radicals and
cytokines, which have been linked with neural and cellular breakdown from
- Heart Champions: The purple anthocyanin in black rice can reduce levels of
LDL (bad cholesterol). It may also prevent your arteries from clogging up. The
anti-inflammatory properties may also benefit people with arthritis.
- Lower your Risk for Cancer: Anthocyanin pigments in fresh and dried
berries may help help boost resistance to breast cancer.
The Orange Reds
Top choices: tomatoes, papayas, pink grapefruit, watermelon, guava, red
Secret Ingredients: lycopene, beta carotene, zeta carotene
- Cancer Fighter: This pigment will help fight prostrate cancer and will
reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Lung Defense: Lycopene and carotene rich foods may substantially reduce
your risk of lung cancer, as well as other cancers.
- Heat releases the beneficial tomato pigments; adding some oil will make it
easier for your body to absorb lycopene.
Top choices: spinach, collard greens, avocados, broccoli, asparagus,
watercress, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, romaine lettuce
Secret Ingredients: lutein, beta carotene, and chlorophyll
- Visionary Vegetables: Green chlorophyll has disease-fighting, but it's the
yellow under-pigment, lutein, in leafy greens that really benefits eye
health. Eyes absorb lutein which protects them from light and free radical
- Cancer Fighter: Dark leafy vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, help
build resistance to colon cancer.
* See Chatelaine, September 2003, Vol 76, No. 9 or
www.chatelaine.com for further