by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP
Add Some Color to Your Plate!
One of the best ways to have a balanced and healthy diet is to eat an array of colored vegetables and fruits. The different colors of these foods provide particular functions for our bodies.
White fruits and vegetables support our immune system. They are anti-fungal, anti- bacterial and anti-biotic in nature. They fight off external and internal things that try to damage our bodies. Cauliflower, onions, garlic, ginger and shallots all fall under this category and are great immune system boosters.
Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables make us beautiful and are good for our digestive systems. They contain carotenoids and bioflavonoids which act as antioxidants. They help keep our skin looking healthy, heal wounds and make our bones strong. Lemons, butternut squash, pineapple, summer squash, oranges, yams and cantaloupes all contain these powerful qualities.
Red fruits and vegetables are beneficial for our hearts and fight cancer because their red color comes from lycopene. Lycopene is a pigment that acts as an antioxidant and protects our bodies from free radicals and heart disease. Good sources of lycopene are tomatoes, red bell peppers, beets, watermelon, radishes, red cabbage and chilies.
Green fruits and vegetables contain lutein and carotenoids which keep our eyes healthy. Green foods also have potassium, folate, and vitamins C and K. Avocados and kiwi are star players in this category. Avocados lower cholesterol, prevent strokes, help with absorption of nutrients, protect our eyes and are a great source of glutathione. Kiwis are so rich in Vitamin C that just one kiwi contains almost our whole daily amount.
Purple foods have antioxidants and flavonoids which protect our hearts and promote longevity. They also improve our memory and assist in preventing cancer risks. Good sources of these powerful purple foods include eggplant, purple grapes, plums, figs, raisins, prunes and blackberries.
Next time you’re at the market, pick up some new colored fruits and vegetables to add to your diet. Your body will perform better, be healthier, and thank you!
To your health!
Autumn (check me out at http://www.pacificnorthwesthealth.com)
*My article was published in the December 2012 issue of the Port Ludlow Voice.