In this summer, the desire for colour in our dishes expresses an overwhelming need for dazzling vitality. It is not just an aesthetic call in our tables, but a search for antioxidant substances, enzymes and vitamins that paint nature with their richness.
Each colour corresponds to certain types of antioxidants or minerals. Balancing them in our diet facilitates the achievement and maintenance of well-being.
Perhaps you already know one of our mottos: "raw, fresh and colourful". For our patients, it is a healthy eating mantra that helps them remember to have small pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables before every meal, including breakfast.
However, we should keep in mind that the veggie/fruit component has to be amply present in all our dishes. Experimenting with food colours can be an excellent opportunity to explore new recipes. Eating every day five "coloured" portions of fruit and vegetables helps our body function better. Numerous scientific studies have confirmed this affirmation and explained how each pigment contain different natural phytoactive agents. Let’s discover them!
Red: watermelon, red-orange, beetroot, cherry, strawberry, tomato, red radish, red turnip. Fruits and vegetables from this group can reduce the risk of developing tumours, cardiovascular diseases and protect the epithelial tissue. It is a colour with a powerful antioxidant action due to lycopene and anthocyanins, two phytoactive substances.
Yellow-Orange: apricot, orange, carrot, clementine, khaki, lemon, mandarin, melon, medlar, nectarine, bell-pepper, peach, grapefruit, pumpkin and turmeric. They all combat the risk of developing tumours and cardiovascular diseases, enhances vision and prevents cellular ageing. Beta-carotene is undoubtedly the typical phytoactive agent of this colour. It has a powerful antioxidant action and a Vitamin A precursor, necessary for growth, reproduction and maintenance of tissues, immune function and vision. Turmeric has excellent effects of NF-kB regulation and is therefore involved in numerous defensive features.
Green: asparagus, basil, chard, broccolini, broccoli, artichoke, roman cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, chicory, turnip greens, endive, kiwi, lettuce, parsley, spinach, green grapes, zucchini. Green leafy vegetables are a great source of folic acid and folate, which help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Blue-Violet: figs, berries, aubergines, plums, radicchio, black grapes, blueberries, currants. They contain anthocyanins, endowed with antioxidant power. Useful to combat blood circulation problems and capillary fragility. Great to prevent atherosclerosis caused by high cholesterol levels and to inhibit platelet aggregation.
White: garlic, cauliflower, onion, fennel, mushrooms, apple, pear, leeks, celery. They strengthen bones and lungs, prevent tumours and cardiovascular diseases. They also contain quercetin, an anti-oxidant "enemy" of tumours.
As you can see, the defensive strength expressed by these substances represents one of the most potent instruments for one's well-being. A monotonous and dull table is not an option, and summer is a great moment to add some bright, fresh ingredients to our meals. Playing with colours in our dishes helps to live well, improving good mood and of course our health.