Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eat an Array of Colors

I have long been a believer in the idea of eating an array of fruits and vegetables in all different colors.  By eating an assortment of various fruits/vegetables you insure that you are consuming an array of nutrients.  I like to make a colorful salad, filled with an array of vegetables.  I made this salad with a 50/50 mix of kale and spinach topped with black olives, peas, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, purple cabbage & yellow squash.

My colorful salad - packed with an array of nutrients
Greens (such as spinach, kale, leafy greens, cucumber, avocado, pistachios, peas)
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity. The light shade of green found in avocadoes, kiwi and pistachios supply lutein, which is linked to preventing age-related vision decline. Pistachios are loaded with 20 essential nutrients, heart healthy monounsaturated fat (which controls appetite), and 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Red/Pink (Radishes, Red Onions, Red Peppers, Red Potatoes, Rhubarb, and Tomatoes)
Packed with phytochemicals such as lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene has been linked to positive effects on cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even male infertility.

Bright Oranges (such as carrots, oranges, mangoes)
Vibrant orange fruits and vegetables are packed with high levels of cancer preventing beta-carotene, which removes free radicals from the body.

Deep Blues and Purples (blueberries, eggplant, grapes, purple cabbage, and plums)
Blue and Purple fruits are known to possess powerful antioxidants called phenols and anthocyanins, which are linked to slowing the aging process plus heart and digestive health.

Yellow (Yellow Squash, Lemon, Corn, Yellow Peppers)
Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.

White/Tan (Banana, Cauliflower, Garlic, Ginger, Jicama, Mushrooms, Onions, White Corn, and White Potatoes)
Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.

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