In recent years, one activity that has seen positive correlation with increase in the wealth of an individual is the availability of food choices.

Thanks to the mushrooming of food service retailers, super marketers, shopping malls, eateries, etc. our plate is overloaded with “super foods”, “fortified foods” or “miracle foods”.

The never ending marketing strategies of food industry has eaten away once a normal diet to  “fad diet”, “ketogenic diet”, “paleo diet”, “gluten diet”, etc.

Phew, isn’t that too complex and overwhelming?!

 

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates (Father of medicine)

The above quote by Hippocrates illustrates the wisdom of our ancestors and also points towards a solution to the “problem of plenty” we seem to be facing today.

Instead of having one or more power foods, it is best to have combination of various colors of fruits or vegetables in your platter.

We all have one or more colors best loved by us as they give distinct meaning to our life. However, I feel when talking about vegetables & fruits every shade holds a huge importance.

 

Fill your plate with the colors of rainbow. What pleases the eye, pleases the body as a whole – Deepak Chopra in his book “What are you hungry for”

 

 

Nobody can be a bigger painter than Mother Nature herself. She has given so many colors to fruits & vegetables that at times the uniqueness is baffling. However, these hues have much more to them.

Going behind the science, a vegetable or fruit gets their distinct color due to the presence of phytochemicals or phytonutrients in plants. Foods with phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They are loaded with essential nutrients due to phytochemicals.

By now we know that, fruits and vegetables not just contain vitamins & minerals but phytonutrients also. There is, therefore, an increasing advocacy of “eat by color” approach.

 

It is intriguing to look at the super powers possessed by different colors of produce:

Red is the ultimate cure for sadness(Bill Blass)

 

 

They are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, manganese, fiber, lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin.

They help in reducing inflammation, fighting cancer, protect against heart diseases, fight against viruses and infections, build up the immune system, fights bad cholesterol, etc.

Red fruits & vegetables: Red cabbage, Tomatoes, Beetroots, Red Bell pepper, Radish, Red leaf lettuce, Red onion, Strawberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Watermelon, etc.

 

A certain blue enters your soul(Henri Matisse)

 

 

They contain minerals such as copper & iron, Vitamins as C,K, B-6, B-12, fiber and anthocyanidin.

They help in boosting the functions of brain, improve heart health, lowers risk of high blood pressure, fights off cancer, slows down aging, improves vision, reduces diabetes, etc.

Blue/Purple fruits & vegetables: Blueberries, Eggplants, Figs, Purple Cauliflower, Purple Asparagus, Purple Carrots, Purple Grapes, Plums, etc.

 

A meter of green is greener than a centimetre(Paul Gauguin)

 

 

They are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens contain vitamin K, magnesium, B vitamins, folic acid, potassium, calcium and dietary nitrates. They are high in fibers & low in calories.

They help in weight management, cardio-vascular diseases, prevents type 2 diabetes, improves immune function, keep eyes healthy, prevents from cancer.

Green fruits & vegetables: Spinach, Bottle Gourd, Snake Gourd, Bitter Gourd, Broccoli, Asparagus, Peas, Avocado, Green Apples, Green Grapes, Limes, Pears, etc.

 

When life gives you lemons…they could really be oranges(Ellen DeGeneres)

 

 

These vegetables are rich in vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium & phosphorus.

They help in fighting off prostate cancer, reduces bad cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, help in building healthy bones, improves immune system, encourages pH balance of the body, improves reproductive system.

Yellow/Orange fruits & vegetables: Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Corn, Orange & Yellow Peppers, Yellow beets, Oranges, Lemons, Papaya, Banana, Mangoes, Apricots.

 

As white as a snow

 

They are a very good source of potassium. They have abundance of vitamin C and sulfur compounds.   

They help in maintaining healthy cholesterol, reduces the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer, help in maintaining digestive system, reduces the cardio-vascular diseases, strengthens bone tissue, etc.

White/Brown fruits & vegetables: Cauliflower, Garlic, Ginger, Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Turnip, White Corn, etc.

 

 

THE DENSE THE BETTER – Count color also & not just calories

 

It will be relevant to quote Dr. Michael Gregor here “Eat the rainbow. You can see with your eyes these plants pigments with the health benefits, so choose the blackest blackberry, the reddest strawberry….because the plant pigments themselves are the antioxidants, anti-aging, anti-cancer molecules.”

According to Louis Premkumar, a professor of pharmacology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, “look for deep-hued foods like berries, dark greens, melons and spices. These foods also are rich in flavor and aroma, which makes them more palatable. But some phytonutrient-rich foods have little color, like onions and garlic, and you don’t want to discount them” (in his book “Fascinating Facts about Phytonutrients in Spices and Healthy Foods”).

 

DAILY INTAKES

A recently published WHO/FAO report recommends a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers) for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as for the prevention and alleviation of several micronutrient deficiencies, especially in less developed countries. (Courtesy: World Health Organization)

 

Despite the widely known health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables, low intakes are historically consistent with data recently available. It is seen that increasing the quantity of fruits and vegetables have a tremendous impact in reducing various ailments.

In a Dutch prospective study over ten years, it was found that higher intakes of white fruits and vegetables were inversely associated with incident stroke. For each twenty-five gram per day increase in white fruits and vegetables (e.g., apples and pears), there was a 9% lower risk of stroke.

Along similar lines, the same research group found that, with each twenty-five gram per day increase in the intake of deep orange fruits and vegetables, there was an inverse association with coronary heart disease (CHD). Of these orange foods, carrots were the largest contributor (60%) with a 32% lower risk of CHD. (Courtesy: NCBI)

The above facts are an eye opener, especially in the times of pandemic, as having a strong immune system is imperative.

I strongly feel that cooking at home and adding more fruits & vegetables in your diet can do wonders for your health. Hence, experiment a lot with all the veggies available in your kitchen and make your life radiant.

PS: A strong recommendation is to consume fresh and organically produced fruits and vegetables, if possible, to reap maximum health benefits.

Categories: Uncategorized

44 Comments

pooja sood · May 8, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Perfectly described and so true.

छाया · May 8, 2021 at 1:44 pm

बहुत ही सुंदर एवं स्वास्थ्य की दृष्टि महत्वपूर्ण आलेख है यह उन लोगों के लिए आंख खोलने वाला है जो कुछ गिनी-चुनी सब्जियां या फल खाना पसंद करते हैं तुमने बहुत ही अच्छा विषय लिया है। आज के समय में स्वास्थ्य सर्वोपरि है यह हमें स्वस्थ रहने में मदद करेगा। जिन्दगी को रंगीन बनाने वाले आलेख के लिए बधाई।

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks dear Chhaya for your words.

Subhra Mukherjee · May 8, 2021 at 1:44 pm

Perfectly described

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks dear Subhra for your comments.

Kirti · May 8, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Very informative and well described article. Nature is the best healer and protector…
Well-done Malavika!

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks dear Kirti for your comments.

Kunal · May 8, 2021 at 2:21 pm

Very practical advice in today’s time when people are constantly confused by new fads. Keeping things simple will result not just in good health but also peace of mind.

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks dear Kunal for your comments.

Nupur · May 8, 2021 at 2:26 pm

Nicely explained. These are things which our elders have always taught us but somehow we keep complicating things in our already hectic lives. Thanks for bringing attention to this.☺️

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks dear Nupur for your comments.

    Mukul Gupta · September 5, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Described in detail, perfectly written. Great article.

      Malavika · September 30, 2021 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks a lot dear Mukul for your comments.

रूपसिंह चन्देल · May 8, 2021 at 3:25 pm

जानकारी से परिपूर्ण एक अत्यावश्यक और शानदार आलेख.

ऎसे लेखों की महती आवश्यकता है. यह क्रम जारी रहे. शुभकामनाएं

रूपसिंह चन्देल · May 8, 2021 at 3:27 pm

बहुत श्रमपूर्वक लिखा गया महत्वपूर्ण आलेख.

हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं

Alok Jha · May 8, 2021 at 3:31 pm

I learnt a lot about fruits and vegetable and knew what i am missing in my plate. Very impressive presentation and well written. Keep it up.

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Thnx once again for your kind words.

Nibedita Dutta · May 8, 2021 at 3:55 pm

Very informative and detailed article. Very well written. An eye opener for many like me. Kudos to Malavika and thanks to her for sharing it with her followers! Much admirable work of her. Will eagerly wait for your next blog. Best of luck!

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks a lot dear Nibedita for your kind words of appreciation.

Pooja Mittal · May 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Very nice article Malavika. Informative and colourful. Never thought that healthy food choices can be made in terms of colours also.
You made it easy to understand and tempting for kids.

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks a lot dear Pooja for your comments.

Pratima · May 8, 2021 at 6:01 pm

Increased my appetite! Good read!

Banita yadav · May 8, 2021 at 7:14 pm

Good article giving specific details of my plate and it’s ingredients. Will try to focus more and implement it.. Kudos for writer for good presentation and giving details in simple and meaningful.

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks a lot dear Banita for your comments.

Asha Bhasin · May 8, 2021 at 8:07 pm

You have nicely explained everything. Keep it up.

    Malavika · May 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks a lot aunty for your best wishes.

Shalini Singh · May 8, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Very informative and very nicely explained as well. Well done Malavika.

Sumit Arora · May 9, 2021 at 10:27 am

Very informative and very well written. It clearly shows the hard work done by the writer. It still seems li’l long to me.

    Malavika · May 9, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks dear Sumit for your comments.

Neha Kapoor · May 9, 2021 at 1:45 pm

Such a nice article..very informative !

    Malavika · May 9, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks dear Neha for your comments.

Pooja Srivastava · May 10, 2021 at 8:38 pm

Thank you so much Malvika for writing on such an important topic.
It’s very rare we get to read so many food related important information at one place. It’s great to know what lies in what we eat and what we should eat.
It’s an eye opener blog. Thanks again!

    Malavika · May 10, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks dear Pooja for your valuable comments and I am glad that you find the information relevant.

Nikita Garg · May 11, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Hi Malvika! Your article is really great and inspiring ☺️

    Malavika · May 11, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks dear Nikita for your words.

Shalini Singh · May 11, 2021 at 8:18 pm

Nice and informative as always.. Keep up the good work

    Malavika · May 12, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Thanks a lot for your comments.

Puneet · June 8, 2021 at 12:48 pm

So informative; i would say, we have Aayurveda in each home; use it to stay healthy. Eat countless fruit & vegetables rather than eat medicine by count later.
Well explained Malavika; don’t aware of few things, but now definitely i will add it to my plate

    Malavika · June 27, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks a lot dear Puneet for your comments.

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