May 292013

Have you ever thought why fruits and veggies have a wide variety of colors, or how those colors come to pass? If you have this may answer several of the questions you have about fruit colors.

Red fruit and veggies are colored by natural plant pigments called “lycopene” or “anthocyanins.” Lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit is considered to reduce likelihood of various forms of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Lycopene in foods containing cooked tomatoes, including spaghetti sauce, plus a little fat are ingested much better than lycopene from raw tomatoes.

Anthocyanins in strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and also other vegetables and fruit act as powerful antioxidants that guard cells from damage. Antioxidants are also inked with keeping our hearts healthy.

Orange/yellow veggies and fruit usually are colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps keep healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists also have noted that carotenoid-rich foods may also help minimize chance of cancer, heart disease and could also strengthen immune system functions.

One recent study confirmed that people who had a diet full of carotenoid-rich veggies were 43 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, an vision ailment common among the elderly.

Carotenoids may also be good for your heart. Another study found that men with elevated cholesterol who ate plenty of veggies high in carotenoids had a 36 percent lower possibility of heart attack and death than their counterparts who shunned vegetables.

Citrus fruits such as oranges are not a beneficial source of vitamin A. Yet are an outstanding source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin which helps reduce threat of birth defects.

Green veggies and fruit receive their color from a natural plant pigment named “chlorophyll.” Some members of the green group, including spinach and other dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber and celery, contain lutein. Lutein blends with another chemical, zeaxanthin, found in corn, red peppers, oranges, grapes and egg yolks which keeps eyes healthy. Together, these chemicals may help decrease risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

The “indoles” (an organic aromatic ingredient) in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and also other cruciferous veggies can help guard against some types of cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are outstanding sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce chance of birth defects.

Blue/purple fruits and vegetables
are colored by natural plant pigments called “anthocyanins.” Anthocyanins in blueberries, grapes and raisins are powerful antioxidants that guard cells from damage. They could also help minimize danger of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Other studies show that eating blueberries is related with increased memory function and healthy aging.
White vegetables and fruit are colored by pigments called “anthoxanthins.” They’re believed to incorporate health-promoting chemical substances like allicin, which will help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and might help reduce chance of stomach cancer and heart disease. Some members of the white group, like bananas and potatoes, are very good sources of the mineral potassium.

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