When it comes to vitamins, a varied diet includes daily portions of fruits and vegetables of various colours. These colours can serve as your guide, because there is often a link between the colour of a fruit or vegetable, and the type of vitamins it contains.
Yellow or orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, squashes and sweet potatoes, are great sources of vitamin C and beta-carotene, an essential vitamin in maintaining the health of your eyes, skin and immune system.
In addition to containing vitamin C, blue and purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, blackberries and eggplant are high in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that are thought to have beneficial effects against aging, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and watermelon, are also rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and anthocyanins. They also contain lycopene, which is thought to have a protective effect against certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer.
Green fruits and vegetables, such as lettuce, broccoli and peas, are high in vitamin C, vitamin E and lutein. Lutein is essential to eye health and is thought to reduce the risk of cataracts and slow the progression of macular degeneration.
White fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, potatoes and onions, are good sources of niacin and potassium. Potassium is very important to heart health.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables each day is the best way to ensure you get a variety of vitamins and antioxidants that are essential to your health.
Do you need to take multivitamins? If you eat a varied diet and are healthy, you probably don’t need to take any supplements. The only exception is vitamin D, because it is rare in food sources. To find out whether you should be taking vitamin D supplements, speak to your pharmacist!