A Guide to a Rainbow Diet
Want to jump start your health by adding more colorful foods to your diet? Here’s a simple look at what types of things you want to look for:
Good Source: turmeric
Benefits: The antioxidant properties of curcumin may help counter the body’s negative responses to high-fat foods.
Good Sources: Papaya, tangerines
Benefits: This carotenoid plays an important role in vision and in bone and cell growth.
Good Sources: sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, cantaloupe
Benefits: This mighty anti-ager, which converts to vitamin A in the body, boosts immunity.
Good Sources: red wine, red grapes
Benefits: The wonder-working polyphenol neutralizes free radicals and may inhibit inflammation.
Good Source: chili peppers
Benefits: Hot stuff, indeed: This helps stave off hunger and even burns some calories. It also relieves pain.
Good Sources: tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, bell peppers
Benefits: A diet rich in this carotenoid may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 35 percent
Good Source: pineapple
Benefits: This enzyme may ease indigestion and asthma.
Good Sources: citrus
Benefits: These may lower cholesterol and protect against breast, skin, and stomach cancers.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin:
Good Sources: corn, leafy greens
Benefits: This duo keeps eyes strong, protecting the retina and reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Good Sources: watercress, leeks, arugula, parsley
Benefits: Present in virtually every green plant food (even pistachios!), this may decrease the risk of liver cancer.
Apigenin and Luteolin:
Good Sources: celery, parsley
Benefits: This pair’s neuroprotective properties may fight diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Good Source: green tea
Benefits: Consumption of freshly brewed leaves may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Good Sources: Kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli
Benefits: Found in cruciferous vegetables, these help purge the body of potential carcinogens.
Good Sources: purple cauliflower, purple cabbage
Benefits: Derived from sulfur compounds in cruciferous veggies, these may slow the metabolism of carcinogens.
Good Sources: berries
Benefits: The phytochemical may lessen the effect of estrogen in promoting breast-cancer cell growth.
Good Sources: red cabbage, eggplant, grapes, berries
Benefits: These antioxidants improve brain function and balance, and they may reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.