Monday, August 3, 2009

Eat a rainbow

It's the colour of food that makes it amazing(along with the taste). Within each color are brightly coloured, disease-fighting phytochemicals called antioxidants. Studies suggest that single plant pigments need other phytochemicals within that plant and from others to provide all their benefits. Supplements do not offer the same protective benefits as foods. So the best way to get your complete vitamin dose is to eat a rainbow, eat as many natural foods as you can on your plate. The more colours, the more amazing antioxidants we provide for our bodies.

On a basic level, it does make more sense than eating a monochrome, all white dinner for example. Each group of antioxidants are represented by different colours, lets take carotenes for example, in our food they range in colour from deep yellow to deep red. Carotene acts as our defense mechanism to resist carcinogens. Carotenoids can offset the effects of exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution and cigarette smoke and help the body to protect the body against sun damage.
The Reds, Purples and Blues
Top choices: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, saskatoon berries, cranberries, apples, cherries, pomegranates, red grapes, beets, red cabbage, black rice.
The antioxidants in these are very potent, work as an anti-inflammatory . They rid the body of free radicals and cytokines, which have been linked with neural and cellular breakdown from aging.
Orange reds, tomatoes, papayas, pink grapefruit, watermelon, guava, red peppers
Lycopene and carotene rich foods may substantially reduce your risk of lung cancer, as well as other cancers. (Adding some oil, when serving them will make it easier for your body to absorb lycopene. )
The Greens
Top choices: spinach, cos lettuce avocados, broccoli, asparagus, watercress, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts
Green chlorophyll has disease-fighting, but it's the yellow under-pigment, lutein, in leafy greens that really benefits eye health. Eyes absorb lutein which protects them from light and free radical damage
Dark leafy vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, help build resistance to colon cancer.
So go and sing a rainbow, better yet, eat a rainbow.

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