Does the Color of Your Food Affect Your Health?
When it comes to eating well in Friendswood, the color of the food you eat speaks volumes. It speaks not only to the kind of nutrients you are consuming but also how you should cook your food.
Phytonutrients or phytochemicals is a term used to describe the chemical nutrient that is in plant foods such as fruit or vegetables. Phytonutrients play a very important role in the body because it gives the body beneficial chemicals that it cannot otherwise obtain.
Phytonutrients differ from macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat. They are also not the same as micronutrients such as magnesium, potassium and others. Rather, they are a special class of nutrients - a chain of molecules – responsible for the pigmentation or color of that food. Some of these nutrients you may already be aware of but do not realize what they are! Compounds such as lycopene, resveratrol, or isoflavones are to name a few are common phytonutrients recognized by mainstream media.
Phyto-Role in Wellness
Food supplementation has become a pivotal role in maintaining health, improving conditions of the body such as cancer and aging. Antioxidants are also phytonutrients. Oxidation occurs when the body metabolizes substances and occurs by introducing substances in the body, usually from processed or refined foods, and even from the air we breathe!
What if all we had to do was eat more phytonutrients? These chemicals in plants are responsible for protecting the plant from fungus, disease, bacteria and other threats that may prevent the plant from thriving. When consumed, they also protect the human body from the same dangers.
Color that Heals
Color or pigment in the fruit, vegetable, or other plant eaten contains phytonutrients. Depending on the chemical or nutrient in the pigment will indicate what role it may play in the body. Let’s examine.
Purple-Blue colored plants contain: resveratrol, anthocyanidins, phenolics, and flavonoids. These compounds often support brain and heart health while also containing high antioxidant properties.
Red – Pink colored plants contain: lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin, hesperidin, and anthocyanidins. These compounds are beneficial for support of DNA. It also supports kidney and bladder function.
Orange – Yellow plants contain: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, and hesperidin. These compounds can help support human growth, development and metabolism. It is also beneficial for the eyes and immune function.
Green plants contain isoflavones, EGCG, and indoles, which helps to support most functions of the body including healthy lung and liver function.
Although Brown and White vegetables such as cauliflower and onions contain the least amount of color, that doesn’t mean that they lack in power. These plants contain EGCG, allicin, quercetin, indoles, glucosinolates, which strongly support the blood, helps strengthen blood vessels and improves function of the heart.
Color Code for Cooking
In order to maximize the efficiency of these nutrients, one must be mindful of the cooking process. “Going raw” in terms of healthy eating and maximizing the benefit of your food can be determined by the color of your food.
Due to the abundance of pigment in darker colored vegetables such as purple, blue, and reds, their molecular makeup or molecular chain is much more dense and longer than less pigmented fruits and vegetables. Therefore, vegetables of this color group may require more heat in order to break down the large chain to make it more bioavailable.
Likewise, as deeper and rich colored foods could use a little heat (cooking) in order to maximize the ability to absorb the nutrients, less pigmented vegetables such as onions have chains that are short and far less dense. Due to this factor, these foods are best eaten raw as heat with further break down an already short and less complex bond.
Food for Thought
When it comes to eating healthy, you can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables. If you’re looking to improve your diet, Forever Well Chiropractic in Friendswood Texas welcomes you to a consultation with Dr. Haywood who is well versed in many facets of nutrition and nutritional support.