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Sometimes, when trying so hard to eat right, we forget the basics.  We get so hung up on words like fiber, omega-3, antioxidants, and other nutrition buzz words, that we fail to realize that eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and seeds gives us everything we need without having to take over-the-counter vitamins.  (If your doctor has prescribed you a type of vitamin, keep taking it.  I’m not a doctor, just a writer with a passion for nutrition research.)

Each color of food contains its own health properties.  Let’s start at the beginning.

Red:  Foods like tomatoes, watermelon, guava, grapefruit, blood oranges, etc. are filled with lycopene, an antioxidant that also reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene also reduces the risk of heart disease and protects the skin against UV rays.

Orange and Yellow: Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots, oranges, peaches etc. are packed with carotenoids, another type of antioxidant which helps prevent cancer.  These types of foods are great for eating after a workout, as the carotenoids help mend your muscles.  Beta carotene is also in the orange foods, and helps protect the eyes and support your immune system.  There are a lot of citrus fruits that fall into this category, and they all have immune-boosting Vitamin C.

Green:  The traditional “Eat your vegetables” color contains foods like kale, spinach, broccoli, chives, cucumber, and onions (yes, they’re green-ish).  Most of the food that falls in this category is high in lutien, which is good for your vision.  The darker greens are rich in anti-oxidants such as beta carotene, as well as folate, which helps to keep your cells healthy.  The lightest greens (like garlic, onions, and chives) contain allyl sulfides, destroying cancer cells and supporting the immune system.

Blue and Purple:   Mostly made up of berries, this color is full of anthocyanins.  Along with it’s anti-cancer and free radical eliminating powers, anthocyanins also help maintain flexible blood vessels.  Even black rice contains oodles of the stuff.  Purple foods also contain reservatol, which may help decrease estrogen production

Sources:
http://www.fitsugar.com/Why-You-Should-Eating-Colorful-Foods-14593385
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/family-nutrition/food-colors-nutritious
http://www.pcrm.org/good-medicine/2005/summer/tips-from-the-cancer-project-the-nutrition-rainbow

I am happy to answer any questions!  Just leave a comment below.  As always, thanks for reading.

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