In addition to vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, which are compounds providing color, aroma, texture and flavor to plant-based foods. Phytochemicals help reduce the risk of many diseases.
More than 2,000 phytochemicals are plant pigments, which provide a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Just remember, the darker the color, the more phytochemicals and health benefits of a fruit or vegetable. For example, spinach will have more phytochemicals and health benefits than iceberg lettuce.
|Red||Lycopene||May reduce the risk of prostate cancer||Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, berries, cherries, red apples, beets, red cabbage|
|Orange/Yellow||Beta Carotene||Reduces risk for heart disease; boosts immune system; helps maintain good eyesight||Apricots, pumpkin, mangos, sweet potatoes, oranges|
|Blue/Purple||Anthocyanins||May help reduce risk of heart disease and gastrointestinal track cancer; anti-inflammatory properties||Blueberries, eggplant, plums, raisins, purple grapes|
|White||Allicin||May help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing risk of heart disease; may reduce risk of stomach cancer||Garlic, onions, leeks|
|White||Sulphoraphane||Possible role in inhibiting cancer growth||Cauliflower, jicama, parsnips, banana|
|Green||Lutein||May help reduce risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration||Spinach, kale, peas, Brussels sprouts, kiwifruit, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, green grapes|