Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.
Choosing the most colorful foods to eat on a daily basis ensures you are getting lots of antioxidants which can help to decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia and macular degeneration. Each color in a vegetable or fruit represents a different set of antioxidants which contain different health benefits. Common antioxidants are: vitamins C and E, beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), lutein, lycopene, anthocyanins and isoflavones.
|Color||Food Sources||Nutrient (s)||Benefit (s)|
|Red||Tomatoes, red bell peppers, pink grapefruit, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates, red-skinned apples, guava.||Lycopene||Prostate cancer fighters. Reduced risk of macular degeneration & cataracts. Protective against lung & heart disease.
|Red/Purple||Grapes, grape juice, apples, cranberries.||Flavonoids||Clot busters. May prevent heart disease
|Orange||Sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, orange bell peppers, apricots, mangoes.||Alpha- and beta carotene
|Cancer fighters which improve immune function.|
|Orange/ Yellow||Yellow bell peppers, yellow summer squash, cantaloupes, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papaya, nectarines.||Cryptoxanthin||Cancer fighters which improve immune. Improves reproductive & bone health. Improve blood pressure.
|Yellow/ Green||Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, asparagus, yellow corn, green peas, celery, parsley, watercress, artichokes, okra, avocado, honeydew melons, kiwi.||Lutein and zeaxanthin||Protect retinas from macular degeneration and cataracts.
|Green||Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage.
|Sulforaphane||Cancer fighters by reducing tumor growth. Blocks carcinogens from initiating cancer. Fight hormone-related cancer.
|White/ Green||Garlic, onions, endive, chives, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, leeks, jicama, rutabagas, bananas.||Organosulfides||Cancer fighters,
and clot busters. Contain strong anti-bacterial properties.
|Blue/ Purple||Eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, blueberries, plums, blackberries, prunes, dark grapes.||Anthocyanins, antioxidants||Cancer fighters and
boosters. Prevent blood clots from forming.
*Reference: Reader’s Digest Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal. 2013 edition.
Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition. The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers. Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues. Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 12 grandchildren.