How you detoxify yourself with brightly coloured foods
Every time you go the greengrocery store, a vast palette of colourful fruits and vegetables unfolds before your eyes. The rainbow you see is in fact made of antioxidants, substances that play an essential role in your diet, as they help to reduce the oxidative processes in your body – those processes that damage your cells and make you prematurely grow old. Therefore, I invite you to find out about the antioxidants found in each colour and to see how easy it is to detoxify your body by simply adding colour to your menu!
Red beans, berries of the same colour, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, red apples and tomatoes are only a few of the available choices.
As for the well-known tomatoes, they contain a type of antioxidants that play a very important part in the health of men. We are talking about lycopene, the substance that gives tomatoes the specific red colour and supports the proper functioning of prostate. However, not only men benefit from lycopene; women have everything to win from this substance as well, as lycopene enhances the production of collagen, the protein responsible for skin elasticity.
Another essential substance occurring in red vegetables and fruits is resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps reduce the number of cancer cells and prevents heart disease as well as neurodegenerative diseases. The skin of red grapes and even red wine are excellent sources of resveratrol.
Blue and purple
Although they are not as many as the green or red ones, blue and purple coloured vegetables and fruits have outstanding antioxidant properties. Among them we have plums (fresh or dried), blackberries, seasonal blueberries (also known as the king of antioxidants), eggplants and other blue or purple fruits and vegetables.
One thing you should know about blueberries is that the darker they are, the more antioxidants they contain. Moreover, they help fight urinary tract infections and cardiovascular diseases and protect memory.
That blueberries (wild rather than cultivated) have genuine superpowers is a proven fact. The figures are suggestive. For instance, a single cup of blueberries contains about 13,000 antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and flavonoids (compounds with beneficial effects on health, found in plants and fruits).
As for blackberries, they are high in vitamin K, folic acid, calcium, magnesium. With the approximately 7,000 antioxidants they contain they rank among the top detoxifying plants.
Yellow and orange
What is special about yellow and orange naturally coloured foods is that they are valuable sources of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects vision and skin health, fights certain types of cancer, helps digestion and boosts the immune system. There are quite a lot of such fruits and vegetables: apricots, corn, carrots, pumpkins, oranges, nectarines, mango, lemons, peaches or grapefruit.
Please note that, if you want to get the most out of them, it is recommended to eat oranges with the pulp, as the number of antioxidants decreases by half once you squeeze them to make juice.
Of all seasonal fruits, we highly recommend apricots, which are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and fibres. Make sure you eat them with the peel, because this is where the maximum concentration of antioxidants is.
There is no need to review them all; the list is long and I am sure there are at least a few green vegetables or plants to your liking: kiwi, lime, avocado, spinach, lettuce, parsley etc.
Green fruits and vegetables contain specific antioxidants that improve blood flow and protect eyesight. Moreover, they are rich in vitamin K, which is extremely important for blood coagulation. Spinach, in particular, is not only high in vitamin K, but is also a great source of iron, which helps prevent anaemia.
Of all green vegetables, whether you like it or not, you should try to include in your diet the famous broccoli. Sulforaphane, the active substance it contains, helps remove toxins from the body, strengthens the immune system and can even keep tumour growth under control.
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