I say it all the time: Dine on a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to net nature’s full spectrum of health promoting nutrients. But what exactly does an eat your colors diet look like?
It’s an enticing concept, but besides salad bar creations, how does one keep it fresh while reaping vitality through a blend of vibrant foods?
Eat Your Reds
Found in abundance in tomatoes, watermelon, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit, this rich nutrient contains carotenoids that may reduce the risk of prostate cancer up to 35%, one study suggests.
When cooking these crimson gems, combine them with fat as the body best absorbs lycopene when fat is present. And lycopene is further increased in these foods when they are consumed at a higher temperature; think tomato sauce, soups and the like.
This scarlet enzyme is found readily in chili peppers, and those spicy little bites help stave off hunger and burn calories. Here’s a tip: to minimize the heat in chili peppers, remove the seeds prior to cooking.
Brimming in red wine and grapes, resvertrol has the health world a buzz as of late, because it’s reported to be an amazing polyphenol with the ability to neutralize free radicals and inhibit inflammation.
Eat your Oranges
Found in turmeric, the antioxidant properties of cur-cumin may help counter the body’s negative response to high fat foods. To use this spice in cooking, mix it into salad dressing or sprinkle it over cooked vegetables like kale – and be easy – a little goes a very long way.
Found in sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash and cantaloupe. Alpha carotene is known for having anti-aging properties, which converts to vitamin A in the body and bolsters immunity. Like other carotenoids, it is best absorbed with fat. Try roasting the vegetables with oil or pair cantaloupe with avocado.
Eat your Yellows
The active ingredient in pineapple, this enzyme may ease indigestion and asthma. Pineapple paired with Greek yogurt is a stomach loving snack.
As the name would suggest, limonoids are found in limes and other varieties of citrus. They help protect against breast, skin and stomach cancer, and they lower cholesterol. Limonoids are concentrated in the citrus peel, so use the zest and juice to maximize your limonoid intake.
Eat your Greens
This stuff is brimming in green tea, especially Matcha, as the whole leaf is consumed. Catechins may lower bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Best sources of this enzyme are watercress, leeks, arugula and parsley, but it’s present in nearly every green plant food- even pistachios! chlorophyll is also known to decrease the risk of liver cancer.
Eat your Purples
Found in red cabbage, grapes, berries and eggplant. This antioxidant has been proven to improve brain function and balance, as well as reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Tasting the rainbow is not just for candy lovers. With a diet full of vibrantly colored food, health and wellness become effortless.