Why we need veggies

Eat the Rainbow for healthy nutrition!

I am sorry to tell you I am not talking about Skittles the multi colored candy. I am talking about the huge variety of fruits and vegetables available at most grocery stores. A question not often asked is why are there so many different colors in nature and especially in the plant world? How did early man figure out what he could and couldn’t eat?

It is estimated our primitive ancestors ate over 800 different varieties of fruits and vegetables. They traveled far and wide and consumed a huge variety of different colored vegetation. They ate the rainbow and so should you. Think of that the next time you are looking at a blandly colored plate of meat and potatoes.

In ancient civilization the healing powers of different foods was discovered. This knowledge was then passed down and is still true today. We know the more variety or colors you consume the more anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, healing compounds from the various plant nutrients you will soak up. Without this variety you will age faster and die younger. Modern science has taught us that reservatrol in wine is a powerful anti oxidant (keeps cells healthy), and that licopene in tomatoes helps to fight cancer, and that turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory. This knowledge is awesome but think of all the things we don’t know about food benefits.

So whats in the color of veggies?

Red such as seen in tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots indicates the presence of the anti-cancer agent licopene.

Blue-purple seen in eggplant, beets, red cabbage and purple potatoes shows that they contain anthocyanins which prevent blood clots, delay cell aging and may slow Alzheimer’s onset.

Green is found in brassicas such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, kale, collards, arugula and many others and indicates phytochemicals, sulforphane, isocyanates, and indoles, which inhibits cancer and boosts detoxification.

Pale green-white appears in garlic, onions , leeks and others with allicins, which are powerful anti-cancer, anti tumor, immune boosting, and anti microbial (anti bacterial) properties.

Orange Carrots, pumpkin, squash and sweet potatoes contain beta and alpha carotene. This fights cancer and protects our skin and eyes.

Yellow-green Avocados, mustard, turnips, corn, and spinach contain carotenoids and zeaxanthin which protect are hearts from atherosclerosis.

This is a simplified list to just give an idea of what you gain by diversity. Enjoy the beauty of food available and reap the benefits of all that nature offers. Start eating the rainbow!