(CARLSBAD, CA) – Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, dreams come true, and phytochemicals bring about good health. That’s right! A rainbow doesn’t just lead to a pot of gold. If you eat foods according to the colors of the rainbow, it may lead to better health.
Harvard researchers tracked the eating habits of 100,000 adults for 14 years. Their findings? Those individuals who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 33 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. In fact, for each additional daily serving of fruits and veggies, the study participants’ risk for heart disease decreased by four percent.
Why do fruits and vegetables boast such great healing powers? Simply put, fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Interestingly enough, the phytochemicals, which protect plants from environmental toxins, also give these power foods their vibrant colors.
When you eat colorful fruits and veggies, the phytochemical power brings a vast array of healing properties to your body. Check out these benefits of adding some color into your diet:
Red – Tomatoes, watermelon, and red bell peppers get their ruby tint from lycopene, a phytochemical that’s been proven to prevent breast cancer. Lycopene, along with ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, all red-hued phytochemicals, also lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, and support joint tissue.
Yellow/Orange – Yellow and orange veggies contain lutein, a carotenoid that preserves eyesight. Dark yellow veggies are also packed with vitamin A and beta carotene, which keep your bones and immune system healthy, and fight-off a host of degenerative diseases.
Blue/Purple – Whoever thought that eating your veggies would make you smarter? The anthocyanins that make blueberries blue actually boost the level of brain chemicals connected with memory and learning. Their anti-inflammatory properties also prevent arthritis. Additionally, blue and purple fruits contain a host of other phytochemicals that improve the absorption of calcium and other minerals, aid digestion, and work against cancerous cells.
Green – Nutrients from green vegetables lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, reduce cancer risks, and boost your immune system. Leafy greens are full of beta carotene. And greens that are cruciferous speed-up your body’s production of cancer-fighting enzymes.
The benefits of eating colorful fruits and vegetables are obvious. But, if you’re like most people, you tend to get in a rut, eating the same foods over and over. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett offers the following list to help you select fruits and veggies from every color of the rainbow.
Red Bell Peppers
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. She has advanced the business opportunities of women and men in the fitness industry by growing the program into an international franchise business that today, hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries.
The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, cardio box and Latin style movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. Additional Jazzercise programs include Junior Jazzercise, Jazzercise Lite and Personal Touch. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.