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The Importance of Different Coloured Vegetables – Why Should You Eat The Rainbow?

While growing up, our parents had always told us to eat our vegetables. As adults, doctors and other health professionals such as nutritionists and dietitians are telling us to make sure we eat all the colours of the rainbow. But why is this, really?


The greatest thing about the foods we eat, are they all have different nutritional benefits and the way that we can sometimes tell these benefits apart is their colour. Fruit and vegetable colour is generally associated with flavonoid pigment content, including lutein and zeaxanthin (green), carotenoids (orange/yellow), phenolic flavonoids (purple), anthocyanin and lycopene(red) (1).


  • Phenolic Flavonoids (purple)


Found in vegetables such as eggplant, purple cabbage, purple sweet potatoes. This antioxidant is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and aids in reducing the risk of cardiovascular related conditions and can benefit your cognitive function (1).


  • Lycopene and Anthocyanins (red)


Found in fruits and vegetables such as, tomato, beetroot, red capsicum, red onion, radish. Many of our fruits and vegetables that fashion the colour red contain lycopene, this being an antioxidant that like the others, helps battle free radicals within our body which is usually a build up of environmental, lifestyle and dietary factors (1). These fruits and vegetables also contain anthocyanins, also a potent antioxidant that aids your immune function and keeps your body healthy (1).


  • Carotenoids (yellow/orange)


Found in vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, yellow and orange capsicum, squash, corn, and sweet potato. These are important for our bodies as it converts the carotenoids to Vitamin A, an essential nutrient that aids our vision, skin, immune system, and bones (1).


  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin (greens)


Found in vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, bok choy, brussel sprouts, peas, and zucchini. Alongside, being a fantastic source of these antioxidants, your leafy greens also contain nutrients such as Vitamin A, K, magnesium, folate, and iron. It has been researched that lutein and zeaxanthin help reduce the risk of light-induced oxidative damage to the eyes (1).


How awesome is food? Ensure that every day you are following the 2:5 rule, meaning that you are consuming at least 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables per day.


If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask our friendly team in store or over the phone.


  • Di Gioia, F, Tzortzakis, N, Rouphael, Y, Kyriacou, M. C., Sampaio, S. L., Ferreira, I. C. F. R, & Petropoulos, S. A. 2020, “Grown to be blue – antioxidant properties and health effects of colored vegetables. Part II: leafy, fruit, and other vegetables”, Antioxidants, vol. 9, no. 2, accessed on  26th September 2020 from <>


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