Eat Your Colors
You often hear that people eat with their eyes first. When a plate is beautiful, colorful, the appeal of the food speaks to our brain. When it’s dull, brown, boring, the lack of appeal does the same.
What you may not know, and what our brain by God’s perfect design is telling us, is that those colors are good for you. That each color has a purpose, provides specific vitamins and nutrients, and that a diet rich in the rainbow is so good for your overall health.
Fruits and vegetables that are deep red or pink contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is found in tomatoes, red and pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya and guava. Diets rich in lycopene are being studied for their ability to fight heart disease and some cancers.
Orange fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, mangos, carrots, and apricots, contain beta-carotene. This carotenoid is a natural antioxidant that is being studied for its role in enhancing the immune system. The orange fruits and vegetables are also rich in Vitamin C and folate, and a B vitamin that studies are showing may help prevent some birth defects and will likely reduce your risk of heart disease.
Yellow fruits and vegetables like pineapple, corn, peppers, and pears, like the orange group, are high in essential vitamins and carotenoids. Pineapple is rich with Vitamin C, manganese, and the natural enzyme bromelain. Corn and pears are high in fiber.
You constantly hear it touted to have a diet that includes “leafy green vegetables”. The reason for this is because they are rich in the phytochemicals like lutein and zeaxanthin, and are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Spinach, collards, kale and broccoli have antioxidant properties and are being studied for their ability to protect your eyes by keeping your retina strong. Also, research is being done on cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and turnips to see if they may reduce the risk of cancer.
Blue & Purple
Blues and purple fruits and vegetables contain health-enhancing flavonoids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Anthocyanins, a phytochemical, are pigments responsible for the blue color and are being studied for their role in the body’s defense of harmful carcinogens. Blueberries, in particular, are rich in Vitamin C and folic acid and high in fiber and potassium.
Pay attention to the plates you prepare for yourself and for your family. Look at what you are served in restaurants and fast food places. Is your plate a beautiful projection of the rainbow of fruits and vegetables that God has provided us for good health and nutrition, or is it dull, brown, colorless, and unappealing?
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