Eat well and enjoy the taste of healthy food! Together we will find the best combination to have a colorful dish, rich in vitamins, minerals, natural antioxidants and polyphenols that protect our health. You knew that for every color in food there is a meaning?
- Orange, Yellow – The colour is due to the high amounts of beta-carotene, a substance belonging to the family of carotenoids, which our body can converts into vitamin A, fundamental for many functions of the organism. In fact, it contributes to normal metabolism of iron and the maintenance of the skin, of the proper visual capacity and function of the immune system. Moreover, both beta-carotene and vitamin A are potent antioxidant that are absorbed with fats and if taken with food does not cause overdose problems. In this family, we count with apricot, orange, carrot, clementine, kaki, lemon, mandarin, melon, pumpkin etc.
- Red – Fruits and vegetables of red color have a high content of two phytochemicals with antioxidant action: the lycopene and anthocyanins, apart from a considerable amount of vitamin C! Moreover, they are a good source of ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, fiber and vitamin A. We can include in this family the watermelon, blood orange, beetroot, cherry, strawberry, tomato, radish, etc.
- Green – There are two nutrients that all of them share green vegetables, which are magnesium and folic acid. Magnesium as part of the molecule of chlorophyll is very widespread in the green vegetables and it contributes to normal metabolism and to the normal functioning of the system nervous and muscular. Folic acid or folate, instead, contributes to the normal growth, fatigue control, proper foetus and embryo growth and normal function of the immune system. Some examples of green vegetables are asparagus, basil, artichoke, cabbage, kale, cucumber, chicory, turnip greens, parsley, kiwi, endive, zucchini, spinach etc.
- White – Among the compounds with protective action in this group, we find potassium and the dietary fiber. Potassium contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system, skeletal muscle and blood pressure. Instead, the fiber maintains health our intestines; soluble ones as pectin, if taken daily in at least 6 g (like the one contained
in about three apples) contributes to maintenance of normal levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Apples and onions have powerful antioxidants such as quercetin, catechin, allicin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, while mushrooms are one of the main sources of selenium, which contributes to the normal maintenance of nails, hair, to normal thyroid functioning and to the cell protection from oxidative stress. The nuts, and especially the walnuts, in quantities of at least 30 g per day, contribute to improvement of the elasticity of blood vessels.
- Blue, Purple – This group of foods contains a phytochemical with antioxidant action: anthocyanins. The blue-purple vegetables are very good for the cardiovascular system and they are rich in vitamin C which contributes to maintenance of the normal function of the immune system during and after an intense physical effort and to the collagen formation or regeneration (involved in the normal function of bones, cartilages, gums, skin and teeth). Radicchio also contains a fair amount of beta-carotene and is a good source of potassium, which contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles and maintenance of a good blood pressure. Some good examples are black fig, fruits of forest, violet cauliflower, eggplant, plums, radicchio, black grapes.
Eating the rainbow is the best solution to ensure the daily intake of the micronutrient in your diet, and to preserve your health. Moreover, macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats needs to be balanced in your diet and the proper combination of different food choices in your plate is the base of a healthy nutrition.