Plant-based Colored Food Combination

In the same way that food combination is relevant, in a similar way, food color combination can also be helpful. What is called “eating the rainbow” is just one of many ingestion modalities. But a happiness enhancing way to eat one’s food. Happy for the eyes, the nose and the palate as multiple colors from the plant Kingdom means that the body is nourished with a full spectrum of vibrational frequencies. In this Page, I will examine the scientific rationale for combining Plant-based colors (Section A). Thereafter, I will look at a few colorful foods and their relationship to different metabolic functions.  (Section B)

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Section A

The Scientific Basis of Colored Plants

Each color in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals and hence vibrational frequencies that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun’s harmful rays, and other threats. According to a 2009 phytonutrients report (based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys), 8 out of 10 people in the US are falling short in virtually every color category of phytonutrients. (1) Based on this report, 69% of Americans are falling short in green phytonutrients, 78% of Americans are falling short in red phytonutrients, 86% of Americans are falling short in white phytonutrients, 88% of Americans are falling short in purple and blue phytonutrients and 79% of Americans are falling short in yellow and orange phytonutrients. (2)

In this perspective, nutritionist David Wolfe had developed this theme a few years ago and i will later review what he had to say about this topic and the evidence that he  invoked to support his claims.

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Section B

What Foods Correspond to What Colors and to What Benefit ?

In general, given the phytonutrients connected to each plant color, red fruits and vegetables  are indicated to better address cancer, Reduce the Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease and Improve Skin Quality. The reason why it’s possible to make this claim is because the color red in the vegetable world means that the plant is rich in many antioxidants including lycopene and ellagic acid. These powerful nutrients have been studied for their chronic disease fighting effects. For example, a daily dose of tomato sauce has been found to reverse the progression of prostate cancer.  Watermelon is even higher in lycopene than tomatoes, and the lycopene may be more bioavailable. Watermelon is also rich in a phytonutrient called citrulline, which may work as a treatment for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Also, strawberries have been found to prevent and even reverse esophageal cancer.

Next, we have orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. According to the constellation of phytonutrient distribution, we can hypothesize that yellow and orange plants  improve Immune function, reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and promote eye health.

Substantiating these claims, we can note that orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Because some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, this helps promote healthy vision and cell growth. Another example are orange and yellow citrus fruits which  contain a unique phytonutrient called hesperidin.  This compound helps to increase blood flow. This has important health ramifications. If one  tends to get cold hands and feet, eating an orange a day may help keep your hands and feet warm. More importantly, consuming citrus may also reduce your risk of stroke.

Then we have the green fruits and vegetables These also tend to boost the Immune System, Help Detoxify the Body, Restore Energy and Vitality.  Greens are one of healthiest foods we can eat. Green fruits and vegetables are rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K, all of which are essential for blood and bone health. In addition, green vegetables are rich in folate, which is  a nutrient especially important for pregnant women to consume to help prevent congenital disabilities.

Furthermore, cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, have been shown to enhance immune function, while dark leafy greens like kale may improve mood while the green kiwi fruit has been shown to help alleviate a wide array of maladies, from the common cold to IBS to insomnia, and may even help repair DNA damage.

As for blue and purple fruits and vegetables, these also help with immune deficiency diseases like cancer, inflammation and slows down the agig process.  Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and resveratrol,  as such, they have been studied extensively for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. Many Studies have shown that the bioactive phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation. Red-purple cabbage is one of the best superfood bargains and has the highest level of antioxidants per dollar. And we know how anti chronic disease antioxidants are.

Finally, we have the white and brown fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. These appear to protect against certain Cancers while keeping bones and the heart strong. Like broccoli, the  white cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable rich in an anti-cancer compound called sulforaphane. Garlic and onions are in the allium family of vegetables and contain the powerful cancer-fighting compounds allicin and quercetin. And phytonutrients in white button mushrooms have been found to inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation.

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Discussion & Conclusion

While plant colors combination is not an exact science, the culinary art of combining all of the major colors in one’s dish helps to benefit from a diversified array of vitamins, minerals and many phytonutrient that the body needs to feel good, to fuel its cells and to develop in a resilient way. Furthermore, the more diverse plant based foods, the happier the microbiome’s bacteria become. (See blog on microbiome and diversity). And children tend to get excited over rainbow colored foods. Thus, this may be a good argument to get them to eat more fruits, veggies and mushrooms.

Christian Joubert (HMI Director)

Text still under construction

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Reference and Precision Notes

(1).www.pwrnewmedia.com/2009/nutrilite90921nmr/downloads/AmerciasPhytonutrientReport.pdf
(2). Getting these phytonutrients from real whole foods is best. In fact, taking phytonutrients, like lycopene and beta-carotene, in supplement form because may increase the risk of cancer. But consuming these phytonutrients in whole-food form, like tomato sauce, has been found to decrease.

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