28 Dec 2017, 09:21 — 5 min read
It is ironic that in this day and age of growing knowledge and scientific learning we need to relook at our daily routine as we are not in the best shape when it comes to our health.
Impact of modern lifestyle on health
Stress on the job is contributing greatly to our ill health. However, change in work patterns, lifestyle, eating patterns, choices of food, also contribute to these ailments. Stress certainly has increased. In our place of work and to support our modern lifestyle, we use gadgets like computers, cell phones and microwaves, thus increasing our exposure to radiation.
Also increasing is the use of alcohol, cigarette, tobacco - the so called ‘stress busters’ - and consumption of convenience food which are high in sugar, fat and salt content. It is very important to step back, think and plan our health like we plan many other aspects of our lives.
Focus on diet for better health
An important part of our personal or professional health is our diet. Nature has provided everything that is required for healthy survival, it is we who are ignoring, neglecting and closing all doors. Let’s not blindly follow defined ways of living. We should let the body breathe, indulge in aerobics or yoga and eat low fat foods with good portions of roughage in our diets.
Colour of food is an important indicator of nutrient value
I believe that the best way to highlight the unique nutrient richness of whole natural foods is to focus on the rich colours present in them in the form of pigments. It can be considered essential, as we enjoy our food most when it is appealing to the eye. Moreover, the colour of the food also helps us to determine if the food is fresh or stale.
Nevertheless, the colour of food is not just there to make it appealing but also has its own health benefits. Therefore, we should focus on adding more fruits & vegetables of colour on our plate, so that the pigments can take care of our health. Pigments are chemical compounds that absorb light in the wavelength range of visible region.
Flavonoids are an example of pigments. Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signaling pathways and antioxidant effects. These molecules are found in a variety of fruits and vegetable. They help in lowering coronary heart diseases and fighting cancer by trapping free radicals and so on.
Anti-inflammatory properties of Anthocyanin
Among flavonoids, the family Anthocyanin are the most important pigments. They are possibly most famous for their rich diversity of colour providing pigments which appear purple, blue or red depending upon pH. They are odourless and the taste is a bit tart. Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, red cabbage, grapes are some food plants which are rich in Anthocyanin. Given their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties they are beneficial in treating ulcers and diabetes.
Benefits of Carotenoids to boost immunity
Similarly, carotenoids are a very widely distributed group of pigments and are responsible for rich & beautiful yellow, orange and red colours that come in some vegetables and fruits. Carotenoids can turn into vitamin A and can be powerful antioxidants that can help prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease, and act to enhance your immune response to infections.
Lycopene is a naturally occurring pigment in the carotenoids family. It is an antioxidant imparting a red colour to fruits and vegetables. It is believed to have antioxidant benefits and has been studied and recommended for it’s use for infertility besides being useful in treatments for cataract and prostate cancer. It also helps in reducing sunburn up to 35%. Since it is a lipid it should be consumed with oil. Cooking tomatoes, which contain lycopene, liberates 3 to 4 times more lycopene from plant tissue.
Infusing our lives with some colour can lead to better health outcomes.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.