I’m sure you’ve heard many people in the health industry saying “eat the colors of the rainbow.” While it may seem like a silly statement, it’s very true! The various colors contain different vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. So if you’re diet is predominately one color, you may want to think of varying it up a bit.
Look at this lunch I had last week. Lots of fresh, raw vegetables with hummus for dipping. In addition to a piece of turbot (white fish) with blackening spices and quinoa salad with fresh herbs, apricots and dried cranberries.
While it does not contain every color (it’s missing white & purple/blue), it sure comes close! Here are just SOME of the health benefits from this meal:
Red Bell Pepper, Cranberries & Radishes:
- Red pepper is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant and scavenges free radicals in addition to keeping good eye health. They also contain as much vitamin C as an orange.
- Cranberries contain high levels of vitamin C in addition to many phytonutrients (disease preventers – help with urninary problems)
- Radishes are very good sources of dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potasssium. They are also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese.
Orange Carrots & Apricots:
- Carrots and apricots contain vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium
- Carrots contain many phytonutrients, just to give you an idea: lutein, lycopene, carotenoids, zeaxanthin, and xanthophyll.
Green Celery & Basil:
- Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, folate, molybdenum, manganese and vitamin B6. Lastly, celery is also a good source of calcium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, magnesium, vitamin A, phosphorus and iron. – and who said celery has no nutritional value?!
- Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.
While you don’t need to get in every color at each meal, try your best to vary it up from meal to meal. The next time you are food shopping, try one new vegetable that you have never made. Who knows what types of disease-fighting compounds it may have, but it’s worth a shot!
Eat to good health!