In order to get a rainbow of nutrients, we need to eat a rainbow of foods. Most of the color in our diets comes from fruits and vegetables, and especially berries. Berries typically have a high concentration of pigments, which contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known as powerful antioxidants, and they’re also good for strengthening blood vessels and the neurological system. These colorful phytochemicals are really what make many berries the super foods they are.
Antioxidants defend against free radicals that are responsible for aging and age-related diseases. Studies show that eating 10 servings of fruits and vegetables can have dramatic effects on your body’s protection against free radicals. By adding more deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables to your diet, you increase the nutritional value of the food you eat. By adding more colorful varieties, you greatly increase the amount of nutrients that you consume.
Scientists suggest getting at least 3,000-5,000 ORAC units in your diet everyday to provide your body with optimal antioxidant protection against damaging free radicals. One cup of blueberries is about 3,200 units and I find it easy to eat a cup of blueberries. If you don’t like blueberries, look for foods with a high ORAC value like other berries, as well as kale, spinach, red grapes and Brussel sprouts. (Message me with your email to get a full list of high ORAC foods and their major health benefits.)
Eating richly colored foods high in antioxidants are your best protection against age related diseases, not to mention sun damage. When you make your next plate, give yourself the challenge of adding as many colors of fruits and vegetables as possible. What’s your favorite most colorful dish?