The colors of fruit and vegetables say much about them, their colors give us an idea of their taste.
When we evaluate food, appearance serves as a fundamental factor since sight is the first sense which immediately influences are choice.
Colors first, smells and tastes later, tell us when fruit and vegetables are ripe, ready to be eaten, not only for sensorial elements and pleasure, but also for a nutritional point of view.
The bioactive phytochemical substances super powers are hidden within the simplicity of the colors, which have positive effects on our health. The wide range of colors which make fruit and vegetables look appealing depend on the presence of pigments which give vegetables the numerous virtues which prove their importance in nutrition.
Eating well and healthily is much easier than what is believed and does not require strict philosophies or severe abstinence.
For example, you can start by eating 5-9 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, following one very simple as well as important rule, prepare a colorful palette in your dish.
The variety of fruit and vegetables shown by the different colors in the dish guarantee the intake of the innumerous beneficial substances such as: antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibers, which contribute positively to our health and show a tight connection between their consumption and the reduction in chronic pathologies. It is not so difficult to think about a colorful dish.
In a salad, tomatoes are red, lettuce is green, fennel is white, carrots are orange and radicchio is blue-violet. As in fruit salads, strawberries are red, kiwis are green, apples are white, mandarins are orange and grapes are blue-violet.
You guarantee an optimal intake of nutrients by eating the rainbow, because the colors depend in the pigments which correspond to specific properties and benefits. Among the most known are flavonoids, carotenoids and chlorophyll.
Flavonoids are an important group of pigments and include anthocyanins, flavones and tannins. They can be recognized by their color which ranges from blue-violet to shades of red.
Carotenoids are characterized by their different shades of orange and yellow, they include lycopene, carotene and xanthophylls.
These compounds, thanks to secondary metabolites, have, by a sensorial part of view, other than the color also an important role in forming aromas. We generally find fruit and vegetables divided in 5 colors based on the dominant phytochemical, they are res, green, white, yellow-orange and blue-violet.
Lycopene, predominant in red fruit and vegetables, is an antioxidant carotenoid. It appears to be connected with the risk reduction of tumors, especially in preventing prostate, breast and ovary cancer. Products having this color have beneficial effects on blood pressure, veins, arteries and all the circulatory system. Not always are nutrients lost by cooking, in the case of lycopene, cooking increases its properties, it is abundant in ripe fruit.
Green fruit and vegetables are rich in chlorophyll, isothiocyanates and glucosinolates, substances which contain sulfur, which play an important role in protecting our bodies from toxic and cancerous substances. Moreover, food having this color, are rich in potassium, ascorbic acid, as well as lutein, which has beneficial properties for our eyes, folic acid, which is important for preventing neural defects during pregnancy and vitamin K, important for blood coagulation.
White is represented by important compounds like quercetin, isothiocyanayes and flavones.
This group has antioxidant and antiallergic properties, they contrast cell aging and help our bones by contrasting the loss of calcium.
When we talk about yellow-orange, we immediately think of carrots and beta carotene. Carotenoids and anthocyanins are compounds which characterize this group, they affect color but not only. Food having this color are rich in vitamin C, they can convert carotenoids into vitamin A, important for our eyes, skin and bones. Moreover, they play a significant role for our immune system, as they have antiviral and anti inflammatory properties.
Blue-violet food contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants and anti-radicals, which are important for preventing tumors, since they obstacle the cell modifications which can cause cancerous modifications. Moreover, they contrast inflammatory processes and aging. They help keep our circulatory system healthy and protect our cognitive functions.
We can sum up that what is beautiful, in most cases, is also healthy as well as good.
Once again a complete matter of taste.
This is why sensorial development does not have only a hedonic meaning, but it positively influences our quality of life.