Food With ‘Five Colors’ Benefits Health

White (metal) food: White foods give people a clean feeling and purifies the lungs. They are good for adjusting the vision and calming emotions. Examples of white foods are jicama, mushroom, onion, parsnips, cauliflower, shallots, and turnips.

The benefits of a color-rich diet are also recognized by Western nutritionists. In the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, some of the recommendations include adding the following color-rich foods to one’s diet: dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat milk products. The guidelines were released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Marla Caplon, nutritionist and supervisor for the Division of Food and Nutrition Services for the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, agrees that a diet rich in an array of colors can clearly be a contributor to good health and well-being.

According to Caplon, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, rich in beta carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C contain powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Green vegetables are rich in phytochemicals and are good sources of iron, calcium, vitamins K, A, and C. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that help the prevention of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. The red group contains lycopene, an antioxidant that can help protect against cancer. Foods high in lycopene may also help reduce the complications from and control high blood pressure. The white group contains allicin, which has been known to help lower blood sugar and have amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This group also contains powerful antioxidants, which help to protect against cancer and heart disease.

Caplon says that a colorful diet is visually appealing and can enhance one’s appetite.

“Stick to the five main color groups when choosing what to feed your family. If you are making a dish that uses only one or two colors, use your creativity and add a few more.

“For example, if you make a beef dish with onions, the dish will look dull and lifeless. You can color your dish by throwing in some green scallions, red peppers and yellow zucchini. Add flavor by using seasonings like black pepper.

 “Learn to be adventurous with your food. It is only through having a multicolor diet that you can receive the full benefits from your food.”



1       2