Phytochemicals and the Health Value of Colors

Mother Nature has generously supplied the plant world with heaps of bioactive chemical compounds, in flip giving protection to assure fitness and regeneration of the species. In each fit to be eaten plant are dozens, if not loads, of phytochemicals with health benefits that switch to us via our diet cbd for life.

A simple way to understand what phytochemicals do is to understand why flora have colors in the first place. Colorful chemical substances can be described as pigments in essential training: phenolics and carotenoids.

Phenolic Pigments

Plant colorings of blue, pink, black and pink belong to the pigment elegance called phenolics (or polyphenols), which incorporates several thousand individual chemicals across the plant global.

Although phenolics may be grouped in as many as 11 subclasses, every with loads of chemical substances, the ones recognized excellent in public media are the flavonoids located in colourful fit to be eaten vegetation like berries. A fundamental flavonoid subgroup that is commonplace in darkish berries is the anthocyanins (anthos = flower, cyanin = blue, Greek). Anthocyanins deliver the brightest colorings to plants, including the blue of blueberries, black of blackberries, crimson of cherries or rose petals, and red of prunes and eggplant.

Pigments provide trendy features to flora. Via their scent, taste, and color, pigments serve to draw pollinators and assure continuation of the species. Secondly, they act as a protective shell of acidic protectors guarding in opposition to bacteria, viruses, fungi and different pests. This class consists of antioxidant roles important to neutralize the effects of consistent exposure to the sun, ultraviolet radiation and manufacturing of unfastened radicals at some stage in photosynthesis.

Following digestion from consuming pigmented ingredients like berries, phenolics distribute in the course of the body’s water cubicles. This consists of the interior of cells in which oxidative reactions are going on 2d by using second at some point of life. Phenolics (and carotenoids underneath) are the antioxidants that neutralize oxidation reactions from free radicals that could damage cell structures and contribute to disorder and ageing.

Simply stated, humans can growth their defenses in opposition to disorder by way of consuming colourful vegetation. Preliminary evidence for this advantage comes from a bunch of research studies on animals and in confined human clinical trials. Theses research display nice outcomes through phenolics in opposition to:

o Cancer

o Cardiovascular sickness

o Thrombosis (blood clots)

o Inflammation

o Diabetes

Phenolics performing in public media over recent years encompass:

o Proanthocyanidins (anti-most cancers effect from grape seeds)

o Resveratrol (defensive effect towards cardiovascular disease from red grapes and dark wines)

o Anthocyanins (safety in opposition to brain harm following stroke from blueberries)

o Chlorogenic acid (reduction of high blood strain from strawberries)

o Ferulic acid (most cancers prevention from black raspberries)


In plant life which are crimson, orange, yellow or inexperienced are a smaller circle of relatives of pigments known as the carotenoids. These are the pigments related to the vibrant colors of corn, carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes and spinach. Even though green plant life have a predominance of chlorophyll – a inexperienced pigment – carotenoids are ever present (though masked by way of chlorophyll). An instance of this effect happens in spinach. Even although it is a darkish green vegetable, spinach consists of high stages of a yellow carotenoid referred to as lutein.

Other carotenoids now seen in customer products like nutrients and supplements consist of:

o Beta-carotene

o Lycopene

o Zeaxanthin (“zee-a-zan-thin”)

Carotenoids have traits of unique fitness value to us. First, they have a tendency to dissolve fine in lipids and so are concentrated in fatty components of human cells (like membranes, nuclear envelopes and the sheaths of nerves close to essential capabilities of these cellular additives). Second, carotenoids normally have severa double-bonds among carbon atoms, a especially powerful supply of electrons wished in antioxidation processes.

Simply for the above cause, carotenoids are concept to be greater powerful dietary antioxidants than phenolics. With carotenoids in mobile lipids and phenolics in cellular water, phytochemicals from a food regimen of colorful plants act in concert to guard our organs from potential harm by means of radical oxygen and nitrogen species.

In ongoing simple studies on animals, carotenoids have been related to wide health advantages including:

o Eye sicknesses

o Cardiovascular diseases

o Cancer

o Psoriasis

o Inflammation

o Viral infections

Summary of fitness blessings: Enrich your dietary content of phenolics and carotenoids via ingesting a variety of the most brightly colored veggies and end result!


* Heber D, What Color is Your Diet?, 2001, HarperCollins, New York.

* Joseph JA, Nadeau DA, Underwood A. The Color Code, 2002, Hyperion, New York.

* Lee J, Koo N, Min DB. Reactive oxygen species, ageing, and antioxidative nutraceuticals. Comprehen Rev Food Sci and Food Safety 3:21-33, 2004.

Copyright 2006 Berry Health Inc.