These are some of the powerful disease-fighting compounds contained in the fruits and
vegetables that are listed in the Burpee Rainbow Chart.
Allylic Sulfur Compounds (also
Sulfur-containing compounds in garlic, onions and other similar aromatic vegetables, which help
reduce blood cholesterol, and are linked to a reduced rick of stomach and colon cancer.
Antioxidant plant pigments that give strawberries, beets and other plants their color
and help protect against heart disease by discouraging cholesterol production in the body.
A substance that prevents harmful molecules called "free radicals" from attacking cells and
damaging DNA. Free radicals are a cause of cancer, heart disease and other chronic
An antioxidant plant pigment that the body converts to vitamin A, as needed. Beta-carotene and
vitamin A are both powerful cancer-fighters. Populations who take in higher levels of
beta-carotene have a lower risk for cancer and heart disease.
A group of plant pigments that gives fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange and reddish
hues. All are antioxidants, and three—alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin—are
converted to vitamin A in the body. Green vegetables are often high in carotenoids; green
chlorophyll masks the carotenoid pigments.
Members of the cabbage family named after their four-petaled flowers, which look like a cross
(crucifer). These vegetables are not exactly identical nutritionally, but all contain
cancer-fighting compounds called isothiocyanates and indoles. Eaten regularly, they have been
linked to a decreased risk for cancer.
A term developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which appears on food labels. The
DV for vitamins and minerals is based on the Recommended Daily Allowances and covers the
nutritional needs of most of the population.
A plant compound that detoxifies and traps carcinogens; lab animal research shows that it
protects against cancers of the esophagus, liver and skin.
A B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects and lowers blood levels of homocysteine, an amino
acid (building block of protein) linked to heart disease.
Compounds found in cruciferous vegetables and other plants, which fight cancer by bolstering
the body's system for destroying cancer-causing agents.
Plant compounds plentiful in cruciferous vegetables, which protect against cancer by raising
levels of enzymes, which detoxify cancer-causing agents.
A yellow carotenoid antioxidant plant pigment. Lutein and another yellow carotenoid,
zeaxanthin, are the dominant pigments in the eye, and research indicates they protect eyes from
disease. Studies show that people who have the most lutein- and zeaxanthin-rich diets are at
lower risk for developing macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. These two
carotenoids are also linked to a decreased risk of cataracts.
A red carotenoid pigment that colors tomatoes and watermelon. Studies show that men who get the
most lycopene are at a lower risk for prostate cancer than those taking the least. Lycopene is
also linked to lower risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
Naturally occurring compounds in plant-based foods. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of
phytochemicals are beneficial, helping ward off cancer, heart disease, and other ills.
A type of isothiocyanate that, in lab animal research, has been shown to both help prevent
cancer and decrease the number of cancer tumors.
A yellow carotenoid pigment that fights eye disease (see "Lutein").
Turning your garden into a nutritional goldmine is as easy as identifying the colors of the
Simply choose one or more vegetables or fruits from each color group on the chart inside for a
bumper crop of cancer and heart-disease fighting nutrients.
Here's what each color group has to offer:
They are top-notch sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds linked to protection from eye
disease. Many of these foods are also rich in beta-carotene, folic acid and minerals.
Their beautiful color comes courtesy of beta-carotene, the antioxidant linked to decreased risk
of cancer and heart disease.
Foods in this category are rich in anthocyanin which research has shown can help prevent cancer
and reduce the formation of artery-clogging plaque (a cause of heart disease).
Ultra-protective foods that fall under this category contain compounds which help destroy
IN A CATEGORY OF THEIR
A few Burpee plants didn't fit into any of these categories, but are still nutrition