Monday, June 2, 2008

A to Z Fruits of Many Colors

“For optimum health, scientists say, eat a rainbow of colors. You plate should look like a box of Crayolas.”
- Janice M. Horowitz, TIME, January 12, 2002

There are 19 deeply colored fruits in the MonaVie drink. The colors come from the pigments of chemical compounds which reflect only certain wavelengths of visible light. This makes them appear "colorful". Color matters because many of the most amazing nutrients are in the pigments that color fruits and vegetables.
More important than their reflection of light is the ability of pigments to absorb certain wavelengths.
Because they interact with light to absorb only certain wavelengths, pigments are useful to plants. In plants, pigments are the means by which the energy of sunlight is captured for photosynthesis.

The stability of the pigments is affected by pH, light and heat. Freshly cut fruit, such as bananas, apples and peaches will discolor quickly in open air. This oxidation is called enzymic browning. This may be slowed down by the use of antioxidants or prevented by adding an acidic or sugary solution to the surface of the fruit or keeping it at cold temperatures or in water.

Each of the color groups have certain properties:
Blue/purple (blue/purple fruits may help in obesity)
Nutritional properties: Anthocynanins, phenolics.
Acai berries
Aronia berries
Passion fruit
Purple grapes
--> lowers risk of cancer, urinary tract health, memory functions, healthy aging

Nutritional properties: Lutein, indoles, chlorophyl
Green grapes
Kiwi fruit
--> lowers risk of cancer, vision health, stronger bones and teeth

Nutritional properties: Allicin, mineral selenium
Nashi pears
--> lowers risk of some cancers, maintains healthy levels of cholesterol, promotes heart health

Yellow/Orange (Plant pigments for color and nutrition.)
Nutritional properties: Carotenoids, bioflavonoids as well as vitamin C
Lychee fruit
--> promotes hearth health, vision health, healthy immune system, lower risk of cancer

Nutritional properties: Lycopene, anthocyanins
Acerola Cherries
Red grapes
--> heart health, memory, urinary tract health, lowers risk of cancer
From the website:
5 servings of fruit and veggies

"Color is the way to healthy eating," said Dr. Joan Timmerman, director of St. Mary's Weight Management Center. A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables is also rich in antioxidants, compounds that protect us from damage to the cells and serve as our defense against cancer and heart disease.

What are phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants and naturally occurring compounds that contribute to the flavor, color, and disease-resistance of plants (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes). Maximum health benefits are derived from consuming a variety of phytonutrients with a full spectrum of colors and pigments, such as those found in MonaVie products.

"The American Cancer Society recommends consuming five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Seven to 10 would be even better."

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