The Power of Colour and Phytonutrients

Simply aiming to include a rainbow of colours at each meal can significantly change the way you enjoy your food.  Not only is a colourful plate of food very beautiful and appealing to the senses, but it also will ensure you're getting the wide array of phytonutrients in your diet.  

Plant foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, and tea) contain thousands of natural chemicals. These are called phytonutrients or phytochemicals. "Phyto" refers to the Greek word for plant. These chemicals act like a natural pesticide and help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. Phytonutrients also give plants their rich colour and flavour.  In fact, when crops are sprayed with commercial pesticides it stunts the natural production phytonutrients.  You may have noticed that organic foods tend to be more flavourful and deeper in colour then conventionally grown food.   

Phytonutrients help prevent disease and keep your body working properly.  More than 25,000 phytonutrients are found in plant foods. Some examples include:  Carotenoid, Ellagic acid, Flavonoids, Resveratrol, Glucosinolates, Phytoestrogens.  Check out the list below for top phytonutrient rich foods!

  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Red and purple grapes
  • Red wine
  • Tea (green, black, oolong and white teas)
  • Cocoa - aka dark chocolate (at least 70%)
  • Cruciferous vegetables - cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, brussel sprouts, broccoli, arugula, collards, radish, watercress, sprouts
  • Yellow onions and scallions 
  • Celery 
  • Turnip 
  • Citrus
  • Garlic
  • Parsley, thyme, mustard, tumeric
  • Chickpeas and legumes