We've all heard the news that people who eat more fruit and vegetables have less heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc. Why? Because of the colors (the rainbow) - the pigments that give plants a variety of health-protecting benefits.
Pigments protect plants from solar radiation, oxidative damage to cells, environmental stress, and attacks by microbes, insects and animal predators; pigments also heal damaged plant tissue and help to regulate growth.
The nutritional and healing benefits that plants derive from these various pigments are transferred to us, more so if food is eaten as close to nature as possible - raw, lightly steamed, juiced - cooking generally kills the majority of vitamins and nutrients in vegetables. Each color in the rainbow of foods gives your body specific nutrients, so you want to eat regularly from the whole spectrum, and not focus on any single color.
Here's a brief rundown of the benefits of eating from the rainbow of fruits and vegetables:
- The Old Farmer's Almanac, 2011 edition