Adding more color to your 'balanced' diet

By Gan Tian (Beijing Today)
Updated: 2008-06-02 10:29

David Heber, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, published What Color Is Your Diet? last year. Its Chinese edition, due later this year, looks set to challenge the country's millenia-old dining habits.Believe it or not, foods of different colors can take special care of different parts of your body. To know more details, read on.


protecting your heart

Nutritional research shows that red and bright pink fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, such as lycopene and anthocyanins. Phytochemicals, substances found only in plants, help your body fight disease and promote good health.

Watermelon, guava, pink grapefruit and fresh tomato all belong to the red family. Other red fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, raspberries and beets contain anthocyanins, a group of phytochemicals that are powerful antioxidants that help control high blood pressure and protect against diabetes-related circulatory problems.


protecting your livers

Green fruits and vegetables are common everyday foods. They contain varying amounts of potent phytochemicals, such as lutein and indoles, which interest researchers because of their potential antioxidants, health-promoting benefits. Go green every day with fruits and vegetables like avocados, green apples, green grapes, honeydews, kiwifruits, limes, green pears, artichokes, green beans and green cabbage.


protecting your kidney

Black beans, Chinese olives and black currants are all members of the black group. These are good for your kidneys.

Black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal, making these beans a good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, black beans provide a virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans' fiber and protein.

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