Add colors to life….
Red Yellow Orange…..
Carotenoids are pigments in all yellow orange fruits and vegetables like carrots, bell papers, mango, orange, limes etc. It is an important “Eye protective Vitamin” that plays significant role in vision in darkness. It is Natural Anti oxidant and helps in prevention against cancer.
It is a type of carotenoid which imparts red color to the fruits and vegetables. It is largely present in tomatoes, pomegranates, watermelons, onions and red peppers. This pigment is potent anti-oxidant which fights with oxidative stress produced by pollution, Cancer and also helps to lower bad Cholesterol levels.
We have learnt since childhood that chlorophyll is a green colored pigment which helps in photosynthesis, also plays vital role in detoxification of digestive system which ultimately reduces many co-morbidities. It also stimulates immune system, reduces skin rashes and bad odors. The best sources of pigments being all dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, wheat grass, mint, tulsi, cabbage, methi etc.
Lutein is another yellow-green colored pigment present in egg yolk,maize, spinach, various fruits, green peas etc. Lutein has potential role in eye protection; it reduces eye fatigue and strengthens eye tissue.
Reddish Blue …..
It is red purple colored pigment present in blueberry, blackberry, jamun, pomegranate, brinjals , beetroot, red cabbage. It is has significant anti-microbial properties. It is potent anti-oxidant and inhibits cancer causing metabolic reactions. It also plays vital role in Motor and cognitive development. Yellow white….
It is an important flavonoid present in apples, onions, garlic, cauliflowers etc. imparting yellowish white color. Research shows that it helps to lower the risk of heart disease. It also helps to reduce pain and swelling associated by inflammatory conditions like osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Garlic also contains anti-oxidant called allicin which is an antibiotic and also help to reduce blood pressure. Research also shows that garlic has significant cancer preventive effect.
So friends… lets start considering COLOR as one of the criterion while planning meal and enjoy its varied health benefits. While considering colors we need to pay attention towards one more important aspect that is ‘Effect of cooking on color pigments and its benefits.’
Hence, along with this I have listed few tips (which our moms and grannys are already using )to avoid nutrient loss while cooking.
Wash vegetables and fruits before peeling or cutting.
Do not overcook vegetables to avoid water soluble vitamin loss and color.
Do not add sodium bicarbonate to maintain color as it causes nutrient loss.
Cook vegetables in closed vessel.
Cut Fruits and vegetables just before cooking or consuming as Vitamin C can be lost by oxidation.
Avoid excess grilling of fish, chicken and veggies as it develops carcinogenic properties in them.
Filimon, R. (2010). Plants pigments with therapeutic potential from horticultural products. Seria Agro 52,668-673.
March 2014 Issue,Anthocyanin By Densie Webb, PhD, RD Today’s Dietitian,Vol. 16 No. 3 P. 20
Color Me Healthy — Eating for a Rainbow of Benefits, By Juliann Schaeffer,Today’s Dietitia, Vol. 10 No. 11 P. 34