Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet; these are the colors of the rainbow.
Surprisingly, all you need to do is name these colors and you would definitely find a food that fits, especially foods of the fruits and vegetables category.
Under-emphasizing the benefits of fruits and vegetables should be an offense punishable by every law there is, worst of is not consuming them. You mean to say you don’t bless your system with this bounty of nutritious goodness! Do not be caught.
The rainbow in this theme indicates two areas;
Making sure that our diet is color rich on a daily basis would provide us with the necessary nutrients we need mostly vitamins, minerals, and some other goodies like antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Are you wondering what these goodies are and how much importance they really possess? Kindly relax and explore the colors and their characteristic functions!
Before then let’s define them.
Antioxidants are also known as free-radical scavengers because they are substances that help prevent damages caused by free-radicals to the cells or unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other factors.
In simpler terms, there are certain “Waste substances” produced by the body as by-products of food metabolism or from reaction with environmental substances, these are called Free Radicals. These free radicals when not processed and excreted from the body leads to oxidative stress which can cause a lot of harm to the body cells and functions. Now Antioxidants do one thing, they attack these free radicals and destroy them thus preventing oxidative stress; they are basically our body’s attack system against free radicals
Phytochemicals on the other hand are biologically active compounds found in plant foods that act as the natural pesticides i.e. they are produced by plants to dissuade attack from pests and diseases. However, several studies have shown that these phytochemicals have great impact on human health and play major roles in preventing various chronic diseases.
So, now, we are back to exploring our colors!
RED (Examples; tomatoes, watermelon, red apples, strawberries, pepper etc.)
Are you thinking about some sliced tomatoes used as toppings for that amazing jollof rice, if so, then you are thinking what we are thinking! These foods are rich in a kind of carotenoid called lycopene which are antioxidants that help the body get rid of free radicals and also prevent cell damage. We, at Impact Nutrition Africa has decided to refer to them as the unrecognized body warriors because they do a lot of attacking and destroying of foreign bodies and free radicals and also defending and protecting us against oxidative stress. Studies are still going on to prove the role lycopene plays in preventing and treating prostate cancer however some studies have confirmed this function.
ORANGE/YELLOW (carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes, pineapple, oranges, tangerine, pawpaw)
Another favorite, don’t you just love a glass of freshly prepared orange juice! We gave them the name; vision foods. These foods contain carotenoids including the very popular beta-carotene which the body later converts to vitamin A that helps in a brighter and clearer vision. Another carotenoid possessed by these yellow lovelies is the alpha-carotene which has antioxidant functions and the ability to protect against various chronic diseases including cancer. Finally, they also contain beta cryptothanxin which plays important roles in cell-signaling.
GREEN (cabbages, cucumber, garden egg, green leafy vegetables)
These are good sources of folate and contain antioxidants that help ward against carcinogenic substances. Dark green leafy vegetables can as well be called the power house of body gifts. The list is endless; potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, C and E and lots more. You better grab that plate of steamed pumpkin leaves and water leaf and eat with a finger of boiled plantains for dinner; we have gone to grab ours!
PURPLE/BLUE/BROWN (Egg plants, onions, blueberries, coconuts etc.)
The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives the blue/purple color in these fruits and vegetable. Asides from the big role they play in fighting free radicals, they also offer anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits. Several studies have emphasized on the use of these food substances in treating and also reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, urinary tract infections, hypertension, stroke etc. These foods also contain flavonoids which help to maintain blood flow, healthy cardiovascular system and brain damage.
This July, we would be focusing on this concept to explore the various benefits we can get when we “eat the rainbow” and how this can be achieved regardless of whatever factor could have been posing a hindrance. Remember we are just one click away for your questions, utilize the comment section and the live chat feature in the website. Also, do not forget that we have a team of professional dietitians and nutritionist for consultations.