Allison Perry

Eat the Rainbow: Colors Are Your Guard

Published: Aug 6, 2013

<--break->

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, Aug. 4.

 

By Rachel Miller

 

Have you been trying to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet? It’s a bit more complex and beneficial than simply eating “an apple a day” as the old saying goes. Selecting a bigger and bolder variety of fruits and vegetables offers a wealth of protection to our cells, may help prevent cancer, supports our immune system and tastes good, too.

 

Focus on eating a “rainbow” of fruits and veggies — the more naturally colorful you make your produce choices, the more powerful, protective compounds your body will receive.

 

Protective compounds in fruits and vegetables are referred to as phytochemicals, which are components made by plants that function within the human body and may help prevent formation of carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, block carcinogens or inhibit cancer development. They also function to keep cells healthy, decrease the risk of chronic disease and boost the immune system.

 

Phytochemicals have antioxidant or hormone-like actions. Antioxidants are a type of phytochemical that prevents cell damage. You may have also heard of some other identified types of phytochemicals including flavonoids, isoflavones, catechins, anthocyanins, carotenoids, allyl sulfides, polyphenols, and phenolic acids.

 

These components are identified by the color of the fruit and vegetable, each supporting human health and usually working with other phytochemicals to do so. Here are some examples of colorful nutrition in fruits and vegetables and what each color has to offer:

 

Red: Lycopene acts as an antioxidant and may help reduce prostate cancer risk. Examples include tomatoes and tomato products, and even watermelon and guava.

 

Orange: Beta-carotene supports the immune system and is also an antioxidant, found in carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes and pumpkins.

 

Yellow-orange: Vitamin C and flavonoids may suppress cancer cell growth and are found in many fruits, including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, peaches.

 

 Green: Folate and carotenoids such as lutein help to protect cells and may help prevent cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx. These components are found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.

 

White-green: Phytochemicals such as allyl sulfides and quercetin exhibit antioxidant effects and support the immune system from foods such as garlic, onions, chives and asparagus.

 

Blue: Anthocyanins give these fruits their bold color and also destroy free radicals from damaging our cells. They are also a good source of Vitamin C and K. Blueberries, purple grapes and plums have skins that contain these compounds.

 

Purple: Resveratrol is a polyphenol and type of phytochemical that may decrease the risk of stomach cancer. The skins of fruits and veggies, such as purple grapes and eggplant, contain this phytochemical.

 

Don’t forget that all fruits and vegetables also provide dietary fiber, which may help to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of colon cancer .

 

Rachel Miller is a dietitian for the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center.

miller_rachelc__008.jpg
July
 
 
1
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
2
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
3
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
4
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
5
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
6
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Artful Sunday: Benday Dot Day
Sun
7
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
8
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
9
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
10
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
11
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
12
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
International Youth Water Justice Summit
Sat
13
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
14
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
15
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
16
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Dr. Greg Jicha)
Wed
17
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
18
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
19
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Color Water Balloon Fight
Sat
20
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Summer Salon: Landscape as Subject with Tom Barnes, Photographer
Sun
21
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
Mon
22
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
23
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers
Wed
24
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
25
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Fri
26
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sat
27
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Sun
28
 
Mon
29
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Tue
30
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Get Moving - A Walking Group for Caregivers (with Mary Crowley Schmidt)
Wed
31
Landscape/Mindscape: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection
Thu
 
 

Fri, 08/01/2014 - Wed, 09/03/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Fri, 08/01/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Sat, 08/02/2014

Repeats every day on May, June, July, August every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Aug 17 2014 .
Sun, 08/03/2014

Sun, 08/03/2014

Reset Page