New Delhi: Follow the seven colours of rainbow in life and remain fit. Colours play a vital role in our lives and therefore there is an equal need for us to include them in our daily diet. The seven rainbow colours in our diet, that is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, will not only make the food look aesthetic but will also make our diet healthy and complete.

Nutrition consultant Geetu Amarnani says, "Colourful fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that we need to maintain good health, energy levels and prevent disease. They reduce the effect of aging and also prevent many diseases. The objective is to choose from five basic colour groups–blue/purple, green, white, yellow/orange and red. This is to ensure that you get a variety of nutrients and vitamins without adding extra calories or saturated fats."

"Remembering rainbow colours is the easiest way to include all the colours in your diet. Such food is healthy and also has the power to fight heart disease and cancer,” added another nutritionist Dr Nisha Malhotra.

Here’s the rainbow on your platter

Red

Such coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin B complex, carotenoids and bioflavonoids, phytochemicals that improve health. Vitamin B complex and carotene enhance the immune system, improve eyesight and skin health.

Fruits and vegetables like apples, strawberries, cherries, red papaya, pomegranates, water melon, raspberries, cranberries, carrot, tomatoes, red peppers, sweet potato, red radish, etc can add some red to your plate.

Explaining the benefits Dr Malhotra says, "Tomato is the best source of what red we consume daily. It contains antioxidant lycopenes that cures prostate cancer and other heart diseases."

Green

Go green with green leafy vegetables. They are perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the cells from damage. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Dr Nisha Malhotra says, "Though green is a strong colour yet it can be used in combinations with other colours as well like green and white and green and yellow."

Fruits and vegetables like grapes, pears, guava, custard apple, waterchestnut, gooseberry, starfruit, green grapes, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, radish leaves, cabbage leaves, cauliflower leaves, green beans and ginger can be added to the food.

Orange or Yellow and orange group

Orange coloured food has alpha and beta carotenes.

"Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin C as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, phytochemicals that provide roughage and various useful minerals to our body,” said nutritionist Geetu Amarnani.
Fruits and vegetables like oranges, mango, sweet lime, lemon, banana, papaya, musk melon, peaches, pineapple, apricots, figs, jackfruit ripe, gooseberries, sweet corn, pumpkin, squash, yellow capsicum, sweet potatoes and carrots can be very healthy and add some vibrant colour to your plate.

Orange coloured food helps in boosting the immune system of the body and also helps to cure stomach ulcers and night vision. Also, combination of orange and yellow colour food helps in the exchange of vitamins and minerals between the cells.

Yellow and orange colour combination also helps in improving vision, memory and in getting a glowing skin.

Blue and Indigo

Blue fruits and vegetables contain varying amount of phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics.

Fruits like blue berries, sugar, jamun, olives and vegetables like brinjal can be beneficial.

Blue fruits are the best source of increasing memory power. It helps cure heart diseases as well.

Purple coloured fruits and vegetables help in lowering the risk of some cancers and lead to a healthy heart.
Now there is no need to look up at the sky for the seven magical colours. Have them daily in your diet to be healthy and as radiant as the rainbow itself is.

(Courtesy: City Plus)