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Colourful healthy foods for well-being

Siski Green / 17 April 2015

You’ve heard of the food pyramid, here’s the food rainbow - the colourful foods that will help you live longer and in better health.

Colourful display of healthy fruit and vegetables
Eat colourful fruit and vegetables for good health

Red is a source of vitamin c

While red wine has shown some benefits in increasing longevity, the real stars of the red part of the rainbow are fruits: specifically, tomatoes. Tomatoes are packed full of antioxidants and help protect against prostate cancer too... as if that weren’t enough, they’re also an excellent source of vitamin C and are fat-free and low in calories.

Make orange one of your five a day

Oranges are not the only fruit, or food, to ensure you get in your diet – carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene which, once it’s converted to vitamin A in your bloodstream, helps fight cancer and heart disease, as well as ensuring your immune system is fighting fit.

Find out more about boosting your immune system

The health benefits of onions

Onions steal the show in this part of the colour spectrum, providing you with heart-disease fighting compounds and working to keep your arteries strong and healthy. It’s not just about your heart, though, onions and their relative garlic, will help ward off viruses which will keep you fitter and healthier for longer.

Green vegetables are a super food

You can’t go wrong with this colour – be it leafy greens, herbs such as parsley or basil, cruciferous greens such as cabbage, broccoli or Brussels sprouts, you’re giving your body a fantastic push towards a longer life. Research from the University of Hawaii has shown that Japanese longevity can at least partly be attributed towards high consumption of fresh vegetables.

Are vegetarians less prone to cancer?

Blue to help beat cancer

Sweet and bursting with healthy antioxidants blueberries are a delicious way to try to extend your life. The more fruit you eat – not just blueberries but other fruit too – the greater the quantity of antioxidants in your bloodstream, which means more protection against cancer and other diseases.

Learn more about antioxidants

Foods high in calcium

Calcium is essential if you want to avoid broken bones and crumbling teeth, and you’ll find lots of it in white products such as yogurt, cheese and milk. Eaten in moderation, dairy products will also give you essential protein, which you need for healthy bones, as well as immune function.

The health benefits of grapefruit

While deliciously fresh pink grapefruit is very healthy, it’s tough to beat pink salmon for its longevity-increasing properties. With its high content of omega-3 fats, which help protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and dementia, you should try to eat a serving of this kind of fish per week.

What to eat if you want omega-3 but don't like salmon

Nuts keep you looking good

Okay, so it’s not in the rainbow, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you missed it out of your diet. Not only are nuts a fantastic source of healthy fats, protecting you against Alzheimer’s and other diseases, they’re also a good source of vitamin E which doesn’t just keep you living longer, it also keeps you looking good for longer.

Discover ten reasons to eat more nuts


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.