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Rainbow Foods: Enjoy Your Phytochemicals!

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Rainbow Foods: Enjoy Your Phytochemicals!

There are many reasons to enjoy a whole foods plant-based diet. And high on the list of eye-catching colorful reasons are phytochemicals!

The word ‘phytochemical’ literally means phyto (plant) – chemical. From the deep blue hue of blueberries to the pungent aroma of garlic, phytochemicals help give plants their distinctive colors, smells, tastes and other organoleptic (sense engaging) properties.

Phytochemicals also help indicate the health of a plant, when it is ready to be eaten and which nutrients may be present. These are all ways in which plants advertise to those that may spread their seeds (pollinators and hungry animals/insects) that they are a food source worth paying attention to.

“It is thought that phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all present in fruits and vegetables, work synergistically in whole foods to promote health and lower disease risk. For this reason, many authoritative organizations, such as the National Cancer Institute and The American Heart Association, recommend getting phytochemicals from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than from supplements.” – Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH)

Next: Health benefits of the Blue food group and more!

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


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12:31AM PST on Feb 26, 2014

variety is definitely the spice of life!

4:00PM PST on Jan 7, 2014

very informative! thanks for sharing!

8:39AM PST on Feb 12, 2013


5:57AM PST on Jan 27, 2013

Thank you Alisa, for Sharing this!

5:38PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

thanks, great info on the power of foods.

1:17PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

I tend to eat a lot of colorful foods, but it is interesting to actually see why we should eat them, besides the fact that someone said to. Thanks!

8:25PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

I love the rainbow of colours that we can eat. However, for example, brocolli is one of the main sources of magnesium but the soil in Australia is severaly depeleted of this mineral. To have an adequate intake, even if you consume almonds and other sources every day, you'd need so large a quantity that the calorific value would exceed your daily requirements. So - obesity or supplements? Your choice!

4:53AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

great article

3:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012


2:02PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks, I also say that a meal needs to be colorful. Not only for the health factor, but for the aesthetic factor.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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