Holi is one of the most unique festivals in the world! This Festival of colours is held once every year during the beginning of spring in India. It is one fun-filled, insane festival as you can see people running around, playing and chasing other people with colours in their hand. No one, of any age or gender is spared. Holi is celebrated throughout India and with it just around the corner; we thought we will bring to you some colourful healthy information!
Were you aware that different coloured fruits and vegetables have different kinds of nutrients and benefits? Dietitians and nutritionists often advice their patients, food based on their colour. It is said that the darker the hue of the colour, the better the benefits. A chemical named “phytochemicals”, naturally present in all the plants is the reason for the colour.
The luscious red fruits and vegetables get their hue from a natural plant pigment called lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. They contain other phytochemicals also like-Anthocyanins, Flavonoids (flavonols) , Saponins. The red fruits and veggies contain Vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps in –
- Maintaining healthy blood vessels
- Cell protection from damage
- Absorption of iron from food
- Increases the immune system
The phytochemicals help in –
- Reduces the risk of Prostate cancer
- Protection against Heart diseases
- Protection from neurological diseases and vision problems
100% Natural apple fig spread, Apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies, Apple caramel sauce, Dried cranberries, Cranberry Granola, Raspberry and Strawberry preserve, Raspberry Jam cookies, Tomato soup, Tango tomato chutney
The purple / blue colours of the foods come from a plant pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is great for heart health and preventing obesity. Some scientific research even shows it may assist in cancer prevention. Blue/purple foods have a number of other nutrients also such as – flavonoids, lutein, fiber, resveratrol, zeaxanthin, ellagic acid, Vitamin C, and quercetin.
These nutrients can help you in different ways like-
- Helps fight inflammations
- Helps the body in absorbing calcium and other nutrients
- Helps in lowering bad cholesterol
- Is beneficial for eye health, especially retina
- Reduces growth of tumours
- Reduces risk of stroke and heart diseases
The orange produce contains lycopene, flavonoids, zeaxanthin, potassium, vitamin C and beta-cryptoxanthin. They are a good source of beta-carotene (Vitamin A), which are great antioxidants.
These nutrients help in various ways such as-
- Promotes healthy joints
- Helps in maintaining good vision
- Increases the immune function
- Maintains PH balance in the body
- Builds healthier bones
We all have heard from our parents that green fruits and vegetables are good for health. However, do we know what makes them so healthy? Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives the green colour to these foods.
These foods are high in –
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Photochemicals- Isothiocyanates, Fructans, Carotenoids (beta-carotene and lutein).
They help in-
- Growth and Development of children
- Iron Metabolism
- Increased blood formation in body
- Removing carcinogenic compounds from our bloodstreams
- Reduces heart diseases, risk of cancer
Tulsi Green tea, Sliced kiwi, Dried kiwi, Kiwi spread, Lime and date pickle chutney, Fresh Lime pickle, Lime chia bar, Wheat crisps-spinach, Spinach & herb strips, Millet Dosa mix: Supergrains, Kale Crisps
White produce get their colour from a compound named anthoxanthins. Even though white foods may look boring, they are packed with a lot of nutrients and benefits. They have phytochemicals that are good for the health. Allicin, a phytochemical found in garlic is known for its antibacterial and antivirus properties. Members from the white group like Chia, sesame seeds, Beans, Coconut and bananas are good sources of potassium.
Potassium helps in-
- Supporting healthy growth and development in children
- Checking nervous system function
- Maintaining normal water and electrolyte balance
- Improving and checking muscle function
These foods help in –
- Protecting against cancer
- Keeps bones strong
- Reduces inflamation
Brown foods are not as appealing as their counterparts; however they are just as nutritious. They contain Vitamin C, carbohydrates, aolate and are excellent antioxidants. Garlic and onions have powerful cancer fighting compounds named allicin and quercetin. Dark Chocolates have anti-oxidant properties. Nuts, mushrooms, brown rice are rich in protein and low in cholesterol.
These nutrients support –
- Healthy growth during pregnancy
- Improvement in the immune system
- Reduction in tiredness and fatigue
Honey ginger tea, Ginger cookies, Pear and ginger preserve, Ginger honey, Onion garlic relish, Garlic honey, Spicy onion relish, Chilli Garlic Bhakri, Lemon tossed soyabeans, Brown Rice, Dark Chocolate sugar, Dark chocolates, Chocolate nutty mix, Chocolate popcorn, Potato Flakes , Flax seeds,
Like Orange produce, yellow fruits and vegetables also have compounds such as Vitamin A, lycopene, flavonoids, zeaxanthin, potassium, vitamin C and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Vitamin A helps in –
- Maintaining a good Immune system
- Improving the skin health
- Supports good vision
Lutein helps in –
- Age related eye disease
- Muscular degeneration due to old age
- Cataracts in eye
Tan cannot be considered as the most exciting colour in the food spectrum, however tan foods are some of the most important staples in our diet. Foods that are high in fiber, such as – whole wheat breads, cereals, soyabean, oat meal, oat flour and pastas are usually tan in colour.
They help in –
- Maintaining a healthy digestive tract
- Reduces the risk of some types of cancer.
- Beta glucan are a part of these foods, which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and safe Holi!