5 Shades of Superfoods
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, usually the more colourful, the more nutrient-dense! This is because plants get their colours from active components called phytonutrients (also known as phytochemicals), which develop in their skin to help plants stay healthy.
Put simply, the colour of food is directly linked to the type and level of nutrients found within them. Knowing this, it is no surprise that superfoods are some of the brightest and vividly coloured around!
Not only do superfoods provide amazing health benefits, but they can often be used as natural dyes/ colouring. Why not add an extra splash of colour to your cooking using some of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods?!
Purple, as well as blue and black fruits and vegetables, are some of the healthiest nature has to offer and get their deep colouration from the phytonutrient anthocyanin, which has powerful antioxidant properties. Unfortunately, they are some of the least consumed foods on a daily basis.
Dark foods such as acai berries, purple cabbage and blueberries contain vitamins and antioxidants. Acai berries may help to reduce inflammation and protect your cells from oxidative stress. In the short-term, inflammation is the body’s self-defence mechanism, however, chronic inflammation may lead to several diseases of affluence.
If you want a natural purple dye that protects your body, look no further than our Organic Acai powder, which has a deep, rich purple colour as well as 3 times your daily requirement of the essential nutrient manganese. Use it to add a dash of colour to your blueberry pancakes or give a cheesecake an extra purple dimension!
Probably the most common colour found in the natural world, the green pigment primarily comes from the phytonutrient Chlorophyll along with several other compounds such as phytosterols which help balance cholesterol levels.
Green foods are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, supporting your immune system, stimulating your metabolism and helping to cleanse your body.
An obvious candidate that delivers such benefits and adds an extra green punch to your smoothie is Chlorella powder. Blend a teaspoon into your smoothie for a warm, light green. Alternatively, wheatgrass, one of the world’s most chlorophyll-rich foods, creates a beautifully bright green-yellow colour, a perfect addition to a freshly squeezed juice. Check out this Wheatgrass, Apple and Lime Juice for some inspiration!
Fruits such as pineapples and lemons get their bright yellow colour from the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin which support skin and eye health, as well as cognitive health.
When it comes to natural yellow dyes, however, turmeric is Queen. As opposed to other yellow foods, the compound curcumin causes turmeric’s bright yellow colour. Turmeric is frequently used to dye fabrics but also has a subtle, earthy flavour, meaning it can add great colour to your cooking without interfering much with the taste.
Orange & Red
Carotenoids are pigments found in both orange and red in fruits and vegetables. There are several different carotenoids including the well-known phytonutrient beta-carotene which causes the glowing orange of carrots and oranges. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, vital to a healthy immune system, skin and vision.
On the other hand, the carotenoids lycopene and zeaxanthin are found in red foods such as our Organic goji berries. Thanks to their high levels of carotenoids, goji berries protect against free radicals and oxidative stress.
Sprinkle goji berries into your porridge, add them to your favourite salad for a touch of sweetness, or eat a handful as a snack to make sure you’re getting the best nutrients red foods have to offer.
Check out our recipe section to see a range of delicious recipes that attained their beautiful colour simply from superfoods. This Vegan Berry Smoothie, this Turmeric Superlatte, and this Pineapple & Wheatgrass Smoothie are some of our all-time favourites!