“Eat evenly”… A recipe to maximize the nutrients and effectiveness of vegetables and fruits by color

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least 400g of vegetables and fruit a day to prevent heart disease, cancer and obesity. For health, it is important to eat enough fruit and vegetables, but what kind of fruit and vegetables you eat is also very important.

Efficiency of fruits and vegetables by colorㅣSource: Getty Image Bank
Vegetables and fruit are rich in vitamins and minerals. However, there is a substance that has recently attracted attention as being better for maintaining health than this. It is a phytochemical. It is a compound word from ‘Phyto’ meaning ‘vegetables’ and ‘Chemical’ meaning chemistry, and is a component that gives plants their colour. Haidak Nutrition Counseling Nutritionist Park Ji-seong explained, “Pytochemicals have varying effects for each color,” and “the amount absorbed into the body varies depending on the recipe.” The following is a recipe that can increase the effectiveness and absorption of all colors of vegetables and fruits.

1. White Food
Representative white foods include garlic, onions, mushrooms, radishes and cauliflower. Nutrients such as flavonoids, quercetin, allicin, and indole, which are abundant in white fruits and vegetables, play a role in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and releasing harmful substances accumulated in the body to the outside of the body. It also has the effect of increasing resistance to germs and viruses and strengthening bones.

The representative ingredients of white food are heat resistant and are better absorbed by the body when roasted with oil. In addition, allicin, which has a spicy taste, helps produce energy by breaking down carbohydrates when combined with vitamin B1. It is recommended to fry in oil with pork, legumes, and grain skins, which are the best sources of vitamin B1.

2. Red Food
Representative red foods include tomatoes, beets, peppers, paprika, apples and strawberries. Lycopene, a red phytochemical, is known as a powerful antioxidant. It not only strengthens the immune system, but also improves the health of blood vessels. In fact, a research team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the UK gave patients suffering from cardiovascular disease an intake of 7 mg of lycopene supplements every day for two months, and found that blood vessel function improved.

As lycopene is fat soluble, its absorption rate increases when it is cooked with oil. It’s best to surround yourself with a good oil, like avocado oil. Most red vegetables and fruits are weak to heating, so it is good to eat them raw, but tomatoes are an exception. Instead, there are many ingredients that increase the content when eaten cooked, so experts recommend heating tomatoes and adding oil to eat them.

3. Yellow foods
Typical yellow foods include pumpkins, carrots, lemons and oranges. Carotenoids, which are abundant in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, are linked to eye function. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein which are related to carotenoids act to protect cells from reactive oxygen when light is absorbed into the eye and play an important role in eye cell division.

It is best to eat yellow and orange fruit and vegetables with the skin on as they contain many nutrients in the skin. In addition, yellow food contains many fat-soluble ingredients, so if you eat it lightly cooked in oil, the absorption rate in the body increases by 60-70% .

4. Green Food
Representative green foods include spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and green peppers. Chlorophyll (chlorophyll), a green pigment contained in green plants, is a compound that absorbs light and converts it into energy during photosynthesis. When this nutrient is absorbed into our body, it helps to regenerate liver cells, and has a detoxification function by absorbing harmful substances and letting them out of the body. It is an absolutely necessary ingredient for people who drink and smoke a lot.

The representative nutrients of fruit and green vegetables are easily destroyed when heated, so it is best to eat them raw. If you feel uncomfortable eating it raw, you can mix it in boiling water and eat it.

5. Purple Food
Representative purple foods include eggplant, kohlrabi, grapes, blueberries, and cherries. The most important element in purple fruits and vegetables is anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are red, purple and blue pigments, and are known as the most effective antioxidants. It inhibits active oxygen to prevent aging and prevents cardiovascular disease by preventing blood clots. In cancer patients, it also further reduces the proliferation of cancer cells.

Anthocyanin loses nutrients when it is soaked in water for a long time. So, it is better to rinse it with water and wash it off. It is best eaten raw, but anthocyanin has strong heating properties, so you can eat it steamed.

Support = Haidaq Nutrition Counseling Park Ji-seong (nutritionist)