Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rainbow Nutrition

Its time for another International Incident Party and this time the theme being COLOUR.
I've been wanting to a do a post on the importance of colour in food so I grabbed this opportunity. So this is not a regular recipe post, though the picture you see is definitely to highlight the theme. Its a rainbow pasta, using all colours.

According to nutrition experts its not only important to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, but to include a vast spectrum of colour in your diet for maximum benefit.
Colour comes from the refracted light of the sun. Each colour vibrates at a different frequency and each vibration has a different effect on the body. The colour of foods indicates the level of nutrients like carotenes (yellows and reds), flavinoids(red berries) and antioxidants (all bright colours) that are essential to our health.The phrase "eating a rainbow" of fruits and vegetables is a simple way of remembering to get as much colour variety in our diet as possible, so that we can maximize our intake of a broad range of nutrients. By eating a rainbow you are guaranteed a diverse amount of essential vitamins and minerals.

Red -
foods contain phytonutrients lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene has been shown to have anti-aging and cancer-protecting properties (especially prostate cancer). Anthocyanin is a good antioxidant that protects cells from damage and helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease and keeping your blood pressure under control. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and may be useful for people who suffer from gout or other forms of arthritic inflammation.
Foods-Tomatoes, cranberries, cherries, red grapes, raspberries, red pears, watermelon, pink grapefruit, strawberries, pomegranates, red kidney beans, red lentils, red bell peppers etc.

Yellow and Orange-
Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.
Foods-bananas, yolk, corn, lemons, melons, mangoes, oranges, pumpkin, apricots etc.
contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.  
Foods- broccoli, avocado, spinach, kiwi fruit, watercress, cucumber etc.
Blue and Purple-
Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.  
Foods- Blackcurrant, blueberries, aubergines, grapes, purple cabbage etc.

Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.
Foods- Garlic, kholrabi, parsnips, onions, mushrooms etc.

Having said all of that, beware of artificial colouring in food especially during this season because nearly all store bought Christmas-colored foods achieve their colors through the use of artificial coloring chemicals, including Red #40. These artificial coloring chemicals are derived from coal tars and may even cause ADHD in kids. Read all about it here.

At the party you will also find-


  1. This is awesome! I am a huge fan of the idea of eating the rainbow! Good stuff.

  2. Mostly definitely this is the dish I need right now.
    Lovely colours and flavours ♥

  3. What a beautiful and colorful pasta dish. I too love eating like the colors of the rainbow!

  4. My parents always tell me about the importance of eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables too. Good post!

  5. great post and the pasta looks wonderful Rebecca

  6. That is indeed a colourful pasta that is filled with nutrition.

    thanks for joining the party and have a merry christmas!

  7. Excellent post, and so very true. I think the sheer volume of food I'll be eating in the next week ensures I'll get every vitamin and mineral known to man, but this is important to remember in 'real life' too! ;)

  8. thanks for informing us on the nutritional values on colourful food.

  9. I am a sucker for rainbows, so I definitely won't give up a chance to eat some!

  10. Good for you to use this as an opportunity to talk about the importance of creating a colorful plate. It's so true that if your plate is colorful, it's probably healthy as well! (As long as it isn't because of food coloring, lol!)

  11. Great dish, and all of the health information is so good to know.

  12. All this information about the benefits of naturally-occurring food colors is very useful. I'll be more mindful next time I cook so something colorful in my kitchen.

  13. Awesome! I was just studying the "colors" and their meaning in Song of Solomon... as I am putting together recipes from that! Thanks for sharing your post too! Helps me know I'm on the right tract! :)

  14. I like the idea of rainbow nutrition. Eating foods with different colors gives different vitamins.



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