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Nov 28, 2022 1 min, 24 secs

Red fruits and vegetables are colored by a type of phytonutrient called "carotenoids" (including ones named lycopene, flavones and quercetin — but the names aren't as important as what they do).

These carotenoids are known as antioxidants.

This contributes to aging, inflammation and diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Increasing antioxidants in your diet lowers oxidative stress and reduces the risk of many diseases, including arthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Orange fruits and vegetables also contain carotenoids, but slightly different ones to red veggies (including alpha and beta-carotene, curcuminoids and others).

The vitamin A targets the free radicals building up around our cell membranes and other areas made of lipids, reducing the risk of cancers and heart disease.

Yellow fruit and vegetables also contain carotenoids, but they also contain other phytonutrients including lutein, zeaxanthin, meso-zeaxanthin, viola-xanthin and others.

Green fruits and vegetables contain many phytonutrients, including chlorophyll (which you probably remember from high school biology), catechins, epigallocatechin gallate, phytosterols, nitrates and also an important nutrient known as folate (or vitamin B9).

These phytonutrients help make our blood vessels more elastic and flexible allowing them to widen or dilate.

Blue and purple produce contain other types of phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, resveratrol, tannins and others.

Anthocyanins also have antioxidant properties and so provide benefits in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke, as explained under red fruit and veg.

Brown and white fruits and vegetables are colored by a group of phytonutrients known as "flavones," including apigenin, luteolin, isoetin and others.

2. Try some new fruit and vegetables you haven't had before.

Buy different colors of the fruit and vegetables you normally eat like apples, grapes, onions and lettuces.


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