We’ve all heard about the importance of a balanced diet, but have you ever thought about balancing the color of your fruits?
Just as it make sense to vary the types of foods that you eat, so you can gain extra nutritional health benefits by varying the types and colors of fruit and vegetables that you eat.
Perhaps you should try some purple…
Purple, the most royal of colors, also provides a regal offering of nutritional benefits when it comes to fruit and vegetables. When you are shopping think acai, figs, blackberries, egg plant and beets. Purple fruits and vegetables are rich in carotene, which is needed for healthy intracellular communication. They are also high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, so these luscious colored fruit and vegetables can help in battling free-radicals. How about adding some beets to your salad or berries to your cereal to boost not just flavor but health too?
Really you should think about red…
It is Lycopene which makes the world of fruit and vegetables a redder place and this red pigment may just have anti-cancer properties. Lycopene has strong anti-oxidant properties. Tomatoes, red peppers, pink grapefruit, guava and watermelon are all significant sources of lycopene. So try spicing up your salad palette with the color red to help battle those free-radicals and add some color and taste to your food. And for once cooking is recommended to actually boost the amount of lycopene, so tomato are pepper pasta sauces are OK!
Give your Immune system an orange and yellow boost
When you think lemons and oranges you think vitamin C. But the other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are also natural sources of vitamin C and A too. Carrots, mangoes and pumpkin squash can help make any dish both tastier and better for you. Whether it is a freshly squeezed orange and mango juice in the morning or carrot and squash mash, there are many ways you can brighten up your day with yellow and orange.
Some nutritionists consider that half of our daily intake should be from green leafy vegetables and it is easy to see why when they are packed with so much goodness. Just reading the list sounds like an advert for good health: broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale, water cress. Not only are they full of fiber but they are excellent sources of iron. Scientists are also studying the effects of sulforaphane and isothiocyanate, found in green vegetables, which may have anti-cancer properties. Throw in the mix all the other vitamins minerals and phytochemicals available and you know you are making a wise choice in going green. To make the most of your choice, eat raw as much as possible as boiling washes those goodies away. Try adding a bed of spinach to your salad with some chopped up avocado and cucumber for a refreshing and energy giving health boost.
Variety is the Spice of Life
So remember, mix and match your colors for great taste and health!