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Fruits and Veggies:
The Dynamic Duo of Superior Nutrition

Fruits and vegetables are the absolute bedrock of a Rock-Solid eating regimen, as they supply virtually every vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and phytonutrient you need. When eaten raw, their high water content not only contributes to proper hydration in the body, but it is critical to the actual transportation of these essential nutrients to the cells. When cooked, certain nutrients in certain veggies become even easier to assimilate, plus we can often eat larger quantities this way. In either case, the high fiber content of both fruit and vegetables promotes proper and consistent detoxification and elimination in the body. And as a clean-burning energy source, they are second to none.

The sheer variety and diversity of the fruit and veggie families is so immense that it’s important to note that there is great variance in the amount and type of nutrients offered by each kind. This is why it’s important to enjoy a large variety of fruits and vegetables each day. But rather than lugging your laptop around to every meal and tabulating your nutrient intake into an Excel document, there is an easier way (thankfully!): Think various colors and flavors. And as you do, you’ll find that an entire universe of benefits awaits.

Phyto Power!: Fruit and Veggie Facts, Colors and Flavors Galore

There are approximately 4000 different phytochemicals in plant life. These substances give each fruit and vegetable their distinctive color, flavor and scent and help protect them from air pollution, insects, radiation damage and disease.
Flavanoids, carotenoids, and antioxidants are among the most studied groups of phytochemicals and are unprecedented in their benefit to human health.
Antioxidants are absolutely critical for optimal health and fruits and veggies are loaded with them. Some of the top antioxidant-rich fruits are: blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and plums. Some of the top antioxidant-rich vegetables are: kale, spinach, brussell sprouts, alfalfa sprouts and broccoli.
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are renowned as anti-cancer foods because they contain a compound called I3C (indole-3-carbinol). This is a potent antioxidant that breaks down estrogen in the body and reduces the risk of estrogen-sensitive cancers, in particular.
Beta-carotene, another powerhouse antioxidant, is largely found in yellow and orange fruits and veggies like carrots, squash, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, apricots and mangoes.
Anthocyanins comprise the beautiful blue or purple plant pigment found in blueberries, plums, cabbage and eggplant, and represent some of the most potent concentrations of antioxidant flavanoids in the plant kingdom.
Citrus flavanoids, which are found in the white part or pulp of citrus fruit, have significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Lycopene is mainly found in certain red fruits, most notably in tomatoes (with four times the bio-availability when cooked, like in pasta sauce), but also in watermelon, papaya and pink grapefruit. It’s often cited as a crucial nutrient in the prevention of prostate cancer. One study proclaimed that just 10 tablespoons of pasta sauce per week could reduce a man’s risk of prostate cancer by nearly 50%.
Leafy green vegetables, as discussed in the first section of the Nutritional Matrix, remain the heavyweight champs of the veggie universe. But let’s not ignore the other nutrient-dense green staples like bell peppers, celery, asparagus and cucumbers.
Even more flavor? Don’t forget about your top antioxidant-rich herbs: oregano, sage, peppermint and thyme. Or, the valuable phytonutrients found in ginger or even onions and garlic (which are rich in allium).
While some of these phytonutrients can be effectively extracted and presented in supplement form, there is an undeniable synergistic effect that happens when these hundreds of phytochemicals are consumed in their natural ratios in whole fruits and veggies.

With all of this in mind, try to eat a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables each day.

Choose your favorite fruits for snacks, in delicious fruit salads and in a variety of combinations in your daily smoothie. For veggies, always look for creative ways to make them a part of every meal as you shoot for a big salad every day, integrate them into various rice and pasta dishes, feature veggies in a variety of soups, and cut them up as excellent additions to sandwich meals.

Just remember, the more variety of colors, the better...


Bobby Rock is a seasoned health and fitness specialist and a renowned drummer, educator, producer and author of seven books. With certifications in personal training, nutrition and meditation, and a number of published writings on the subject of health and wellness, Bobby's unique approach to total mind/body fitness has gained him accolades among a wide cross-section of health enthusiasts. Check out for more info.


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