BALEARIC doctors, concerned about obesity in the islands, have been recommending five portions of fruit and vegetables a day for a healthier diet.
But, it seems, most people find it difficult to stick to this. However, the Italians have come up with an original method based on the colours of the produce, and people are being told to “eat five colours a day.” The“colours” are green, white, red, orange-yellow and purple.
The experts call them the “five colours of wellbeing” because each one has a protective effect.
The campaign is being financed with 5.6 million euros by the European Union.
With a varied diet based on the consumption of diffently coloured fruit and vegetables, it is possible to cut by a third the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart complaints and other illnesses, according to the specialists. According to the campaign, aubergines (purple) help put back aging and improve the memory; asparagus (green) is good for the sight.
White onions are good for lowering cholesterol while orange products such as carrots boost the immune system and tomatoes (red) have beneficial effects on the urinary tract. But despite all these benefits, Italians are buying less fruit and vegetables all the time: between 1999 and 2003, consumption of fruit dropped by 18 percent and vegetables by 14 percent, according to a market study. Spaniards, for their part, are eating more and more of these healthy products - 200 kilos of fruit and vegetables per head a year, according to the agriculture ministry. Consumption has grown by 3.5 percent and now accounts for 12 percent of the weekly “shopping basket.” Catalonia is the region where the biggest amount of fruit and vegetables is consumed, followed by Navarre and Castilla-Leon. At the other end of the scale are the Canary Islands, Cantabria and Extremadura. It is interesting to note that citrus fruits account for more than a third of the fruit consumed, and tomatoes represent 25 percent of the vegetables.

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