If you ever wondered why certain vegetables and fruits come in attractive colours while others are just shades of green, there are quite a few reasons behind it.

Mother Nature has ensured that each colour provides us with a specific dose of nutrients and each colour signifies the presence of those nutrients. Each fruit or a veggie derives its colour from a plant compound called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals that guard plants against bugs, germs, harmful sun rays and other pollutants.

Here’s a quick guide to the health properties of each colour.

Bright Red

Fruits and vegetable which are red in colour contain phytonutrients like lycopene, ellagic acid and citrulline. These potent compounds act as cancer-fighting agents and offer various health benefits.

Lycopene in tomatoes has proven to reverse the development of prostate cancer. Watermelon has more lycopene than tomatoes and is also heaped with another phytonutrient, citrulline that treats mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Red berries abundant in lycopene are effective in preventing and reversing oesophagal cancer.

Some other healthy red foods that should be a part of your daily diet include red peppers, apples, cherries, grapes, red onions, pomegranate and beets.

Orange, Yellow

Orange, yellow fruits and veggies are a great source of Vitamin C, carotenoids and beta-carotene. Most of the beta-carotenes are converted to Vitamin A within the body which are very vital for promoting healthy vision and cell growth. Citrus fruits are a powerhouse of specific phytonutrients hesperidin for promoting blood flow. Furthermore, these fruits and veggies bolster immunity and maintain heart health and lower risk of stroke.

Some of the good sources are orange, lemons, mangoes, papaya, pineapple, carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow summer squash, corn and cantaloupe.

Green

Greens are healthiest foods power packed with rich antioxidants profile including lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones and vitamin K. Greens are beneficial in promoting bone and blood health. These natural wonders are abundant in folate, an essential vitamin for pregnant women that can prevent congenital abnormalities. Cruciferous green veggies help in boosting immune function and kiwi is loaded with an array of plant compounds that battles common cold, IBS, insomnia and repairs DNA.

Your must-have green veggies include broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus, green beans, zucchini peas, kiwi, avocado, green apple and green grapes.

Blue, Purple

Blue, purple veggies and fruits are loaded with phytonutrients anthocyanins and resveratrol. Several studies have proven that these foods have strong anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. The bioactive compound in berries functions well in repairing damage caused due to oxidative stress and inflammation. Red cabbage is one of the best superfoods with the highest amount of antioxidants.

Try to have berries, blueberries, purple grapes, prunes, plums figs, red cabbage and eggplant.

White, Brown

White and brown coloured foods may not be as attractive as other foods but still are healthy ones. Cauliflower is rich in anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, whereas garlic and onions the allium family veggie contains potent anticancer fighting compounds allicin and quercetin. In addition, the white mushroom has found to be effective in preventing aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation.

Some of the rich foods are garlic, onion, cauliflower, mushroom, white radish and potato.