Specific phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their unique colorings. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants that are getting more and more attention these days for their tremendous health benefits. Below is a list of these phytochemicals and their unique colors and health benefits.
Green colored fruits and vegetables
Chlorophyll gives plants their green color. It is the product of plants turning light into energy (carbohydrates) for insects, animals and humans to eat. Without this process, life as we know it, would not exist.
Some of the many amazing benefits of chlorophyll include; powerful detoxifying properties including that of the liver, as well as removing unfriendly bacteria, parasites and mold. Chlorophyll can also improve our blood quality due to its molecular make up, similar to hemoglobin. It helps increase red blood cell count and increases the movement of oxygen throughout our blood. It also helps the repair and growth of all tissues in the body.
Orange colored fruits and vegetables
Beta-carotene is a phytochemical antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, mangos and sweet potatoes their wonderful color. Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A and has many essential benefits for your well being. These benefits include keeping our mucous membranes intact, reducing risk of heart disease and cancer, improved immune system, helping skin from becoming dry and cracked, reducing aging, and is well known for maintaining healthy eyes.
Red colored fruits and vegetables
Red foods such as tomatoes and strawberries contain the phytochemical lycopene that gives them their red color. Lycopene has been shown to help prevent prostate cancer and heart disease, , and is one of the key antioxidants in the healthy Mediterranean diet
Purple colored fruits and vegetables
Purple foods such as blackberries and the acai berry contain the phytochemicals anthocyanins and phenloics. Phenloics are what gives these foods their rich purple color. They also promote a healthy heart and have anti-aging benefits. Anthocyanins have been shown to work together with vitamin C to create strong elasticated arteries that help keep blood pressure levels in check
Yellow colored fruits and vegetables
Phytochemical: Hydroxy Carotenoid
It is a natural occurring phytochemical called hydroxy carotenoid that gives yellow colored fruits and vegetables their color. More research is required to find out the benefits of this chemical, but it is part of larger group of antioxidants called carotenoids. Carotenoids as a group show similar benefits and are all considered to promote heart health.
Blue colored fruits and vegetables
Blue fruits and vegetables, such as the highly esteemed blueberries, contain a wide variety of phytochemicals. Anthocyanins is what gives blueberries their wonderful blue color. Blueberries contain other phytochemicals which can improve memory.
White colored fruits and vegetables
The white color found in such vegetables as garlic and onion is due to phytochemicals called anthoxanthins. These 2 vegetables also contain allicin which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart disease.