Good health at end of rainbow

RED and blue are this season's hot new colour.

Thursday, 20th September 2007, 3:47 pm
Updated Monday, 24th September 2007, 9:30 am

No, it's not the latest fashion advice, but what colour of fruits and vegetables you should be eating for maximum health benefits.

Recent scientific research suggested that the pigments that give blue and red fruits their colour have powerful anti-cancer properties but World Cancer Research Fund is reminding people of the importance of eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in a range of colours.

This "rainbow" approach to fruit and vegetables is the only way you can get the full range of benefits of all the different substances found in these food as there is no one magic bullet.

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Scientists say it's the overall pattern of our diet – all the foods working together – that seems to lower or raise our risk of developing the disease.

Dr Greg Martin, head of science and research at WCRF, said: "We estimate that up to 20 per cent of cancers could be prevented just by eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, which shows just how important they are when it comes to cancer prevention.

"We also know that to get the maximum benefit from what you eat you should make sure you have plenty of variety.

That way, you will get all the goodness from all the different fruits and vegetables."

Research suggests that it is likely to be the vitamins, minerals and other pigments in fruits and vegetables that protect against cancer.

This is because they help defend our DNA and cells against damage.

Dr Martin added: "People often think that developing cancer is all down to fate.

"But it is a fact that what you eat and do today could have an impact on your risk of disease in the future, so start eating your way to health today."

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