More and more people are seeing the nutritional benefits in choosing the foods you eat more carefully. Sure, it is not rocket science, but it is easy to go throughout the entire day without have some of the fruits and vegetables your body needs.
Mindfulness practices are becoming more common in all of its varieties. Outside of meditation and stress-management practices, the body and mind rejoices with a new sense of clarity and functioning when one’s intake stretches across the full range of foods.
We are all familiar with the food pyramid, but why is there an emphasis on packing your daily diet with 7 colors? Well, what may seem random to us is nature’s incredible intention. Each food color category contain specific nutrients which fight for our body’s optimal state. According to EatingWell, “…the anthocyanins that turn blueberries blue can also keep your mind sharp, the lycopene that turns watermelon and tomatoes red may also help protect against prostate and breast cancers, and the beta carotene that makes carrots and sweet potatoes orange can help keep your bones strong, your eyes healthy and boost your immune system.”
So what are these color-coded nutrients, and how do they affect our health? Have a look below:
Blue, Purple, & Deep Red
Your heart beats stronger and your brain functions more efficiently when anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, antioxidants make a regular appearance in your diet. Some foods with high concentrations of these nutrients are: Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and eggplants.
This is the first type of green to eat, and the first thing to notice is their leafy characteristics. Cruciferous vegetables contain indoles and isothiocyanates, compounds that catalyze toxin-clearing processes to prevent cancer from forming in the body. Given the unsuspecting and widespread nature of cancer, it’s a good idea to start eating these foods now: broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, green cabbage, and cauliflower.
Yellow & Green
Fresh eyes shouldn’t be taken for granted. As we get older, we become more susceptible to age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older people. Yellow foods, along with some leafy green ones, contains lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals, agents that prevent eye-related illnesses from occurring. If you want to continue seeing the world with all of its vibrancy, try incorporating these veggies into your diet: corn, summer squash, arugula, artichokes.
The alpha and beta carotene nutrients give these foods their orange color, and are precursors to the active form of vitamin A. Known to keep eyes, bones, and the immune system strong and healthy, these nutrients also function as antioxidants by clearing the body of disease-causing agents. Foods like carrots, mangoes, oranges, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are all excellent triggers to boost vitamin A intake.
You can fight against cancer-causing agents with these lycopene- heavy foods. If prostate and breast cancer are particular concerns for you, try infusing more of these foods into your diet: guava, tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and red peppers.
Are you ready to take your diet to the next level? Explore and incorporate some of these foods into your overall diet, and tell us what happens. We would love to hear about the colors and fun flavors you pair!