Phytonutrients A Rainbow Of Health
The phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables can be grouped according to color. Each group has its own set of unique protective benefits. You need to try to consume all seven colors of the phytonutrient rainbow every day to receive the protection you need to do this you need to eat a variety of foods. Think of phytonutrients as a rainbow of health; God’s promise to you healthy. Let’s look at each group.
Orange color fruits and vegetables, including carrots, mangoes, cantaloupes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, and apricots, have high amounts of carotenoids, which help prevent cancer and heart disease. Typically the more orange the fruit or vegetable is, the higher the concentration of provitamin A carotenoids (carotenoids that can be transformed in to vitamin A).Orange fruits an vegetables generally are also high in beta- carotene. Eating just one small carrot every day may help protect you from cancer.
Tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and red grapefruit contain a powerful carotenoid called lycopene, which is about twice as powerful as beta- carotene. Lycopene is the main pigment responsible for the red color. Lycopene is linked to prevention of heart disease and prostate cancer. A study conducted by Harvard researchers examined the relationship between carotenoids and the link of prostate cancer. Only the carotenoid lycopene was associated with protection. The men in this study with the greatest protection against prostate cancer consumed at least 6.5 mg a day of lycopene from tomato products.
Blueberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries, raspberries, grapes, eggplants, red cabbage, and red wine contain a powerful flavonoid called anthocyanin, which contains approximately fifty times the antioxidant activity of vitamin c and is twenty times more powerful than vitamin E.
Pine bark, grape seed and skins, bilberry, and cranberry contain and another flavonoid, proathocyanidin, which helps maintain the elasticity in our skin and blood vessels. preventing wrinkles, spider veins, and varicose veins.
Resveratrol is found in red grape skins and seeds, purple grape juice, and wine; it helps prevent the progression of cancer, prevents blood clots, raises HDL or good cholesterol and promotes longevity.
CLASSES OF PHYTONUTRIENTS
Typically, phytonutrients are classified by their chemical structures. This is an extensive classification, and it is also quite confusing, since many phytonutrients provide similar protection. The main classification include
- Orange- sulfurs, such as cruciferous vegetables and the sulfur compound in garlic.
- Terpenoids, such as limonene in citrus as well as carotenoids, tocopherols,
- Flavonoids, including certain red/purple pigmented fruits and vegetables
- Is flavonoids and lignin’s found in soy foods and flaxseeds.
- Organic acids found in whole grains, parsley, licorice and citrus fruits. Since there are so many different phytonutrients, they are classified in families, and this depends on the similarities in their structure.