Colorful Diets Lead to Healthier Skin

An apple a day keeps the doctor away…sounds like there is some truth to this statement after all (I would recommend eating your apple in organic form, skin and all.) In fact, the skin is one of the most important parts, because it contains the high amount of antioxidants your body needs to prevent oxidative damage and stay balanced.

Antioxidants are vital to keeping skin healthy and youthful, because they protect skin from overexposure to the elements, help balance free radicals under stress and feed each cell to maintain proper renewal and repair. In fact, when the body becomes depleted of antioxidants, it pulls them from the skin’s reserves. This, combined with excess stress, is one reason for skin wrinkling, scarring, sagging and pigmenting.

So how do we get the vast amount of antioxidants we need? Eat the rainbow! Eating, or drinking, a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables ensures a nice supply of plant antioxidants and antioxidant boosters. We should all be eating at least 7-10 servings of fruits and veggies daily for maximum skincare benefits. Be sure to eat organic whenever needed or possible, and check your digestive health to make sure you are absorbing all these wonderful antioxidants properly.

Tasting the Rainbow

Red fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigments called lycopene, a great antioxidant. They also contain flavanoids, or bioflavanoids (see purple / blue:)

Red apples
Beets
Red cabbage
Cherries
Cranberries
Pink grapefruit
Red grapes
Red peppers
Pomegranates
Red potatoes
Radishes
Raspberries
Rhubarb
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Watermelon

Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are usually colored by natural plant pigments called carotenoids: fat-soluble antioxidant boosters:

Yellow apples
Apricots
Butternut squash
Cantaloupe
Carrots
Grapefruit
Lemons
Mangoes
Nectarines
Oranges
Papayas
Peaches
Pears
Yellow peppers
Persimmons
Pineapple
Pumpkin
Rutabagas
Yellow summer or winter squash
Sweet corn
Sweet potatoes
Tangerines
Yellow tomatoes
Yellow watermelon

Green fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigment called chlorophyll, a powerful substance used in the energy powerhouses of the body and skin cells. The indoles in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect against some types of cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of Vitamin B:
Green apples
Artichokes
Asparagus
Avocados
Green beans
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Green cabbage
Cucumbers
Green grapes
Honeydew melon
Kiwi
Lettuce
Limes
Green onions
Peas
Green pepper
Spinach
Zucchini

Blue/purple fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigments called anthocyanins, water-soluble flavanoids. (they are also found in red fruits and veggies.) Anthocyanins in blueberries, grapes and raisins act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage:
Blackberries
Blueberries
Eggplant
Figs
Juneberries
Plums
Prunes
Purple grapes
Raisins

White fruits and vegetables are colored by pigments called anthoxanthins. These are the colorless, or white, water-soluble antioxidant boosters found in the flavanoid family:

Bananas
Cauliflower
Garlic
Ginger
Jicama
Mushrooms
Onions
Parsnips
Potatoes
Turnips
Coconut

other sources:

Food Science, by B Srilakshmi

What Color Is Your Food?

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