So Easter is approaching and with it the promise of a hot hot summer, which means one thing – Bikinis! Time to shape up and leave behind the heavy wintery pies for much lighter summer salads, but wouldn’t it be easier if we knew before hand the types of food to avoid and which ones to stack up? Well scientists have been working on this one for a while and have come up with an easy idea. Eating by colors. And why not? After all different animals and specially mammals have relayed on this rule for centuries both eating and avoiding foods based on their color and what they symbolize in terms of nutritional information. So what if the color of the food you eat tells you more about its benefits? According to an article written by Eating Well Magazine based on the book The Farmers’ Market Cookbook (2009) “Anthocyanins make blueberries blue and may help to keep your mind sharp. Tomatoes get their ruby hue from lycopene, a phytochemical that may help to prevent prostate cancer.” But what does all it mean? Let’s look into it from a much simpler way and keep the science terms to a minimum paying close attention to what we eat we can benefit our body and boost our energy.
According to various nutritionists red foods such as tomatoes, guavas, watermelon, and red pepper are high on lycopene and therefore they help to prevent prostate and breast cancer. Orange foods such as oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papaya and pumpkin are high on beta-carotene which not only help us achieve an awesome tan on those beach sunny¹ days but also gives us a boost of vitamin A, helping our immune system. ¹ For a tan boost drink an orange and carrot juice thirty minutes before you start your tanning session and just wait for the magic to happen. On the other hand experts suggest that Yellow & Green Foods can be divided in two groups. The leafy greens such as artichoke, lettuce, corn, arugula and turnip greens all with high sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds that accumulate on our eyes helping prevent age related eye, and eye muscle degeneration – they are also a source of Beta-carotene but the compound is found in lower amounts (compared to orange foods). The second group of Yellow & Green Foods composed by cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels spouts, cauliflower and green cabbage. Help us clear our body from nasty accumulated waste or toxins.
According to Eating Well Magazine, “These vegetables boost the production of enzymes that clear toxins from the body and may help prevent cancer.” Blue, Purple & Red Foods such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, eggplant, plums and grapes are foods rich in antioxidants which scientists have proved to keep the heart healthy and to keep the brain functioning at its fullest potential – which makes them a must during finals. Remember the key to a healthy body is a healthy diet, so do mix vegetables with complex carbs ( such as whole grains and brown rice) and lean meats – keep it balanced. Consult with your doctor before engaging in any diet or changing your diet abruptly and some things may work for some but not for all.
For more information about eating by colors refer to EatingWell in Season: The Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Copyright 2009 by Eating Well, Inc. Published by The Countryman Press, P.O. Box 748, Woodstock, VT 05091.
Jihane Rodriguez – Article written for The Summa Newspaper, St.Thomas University. Houston. February 2012