Foods by Color: Introduction

Rainbow of Veggies

I love food.  Obviously.  One of my favorite things about food is their variety of color; every color of the rainbow is represented and each color provides unique health benefits. In this series, “Foods by Color” I will highlight specific foods and their health benefits which are often attributed to their color, provide cooking tips and give a few recipes for your enjoyment.  I will organize these foods primarily by color and introduce them during their appropriate season.

We all know colorful produce is good for us, why should we learn the details about each individual food & color group?

Well, knowledge is power and also provides added motivation to eat right. Also, by understanding the unique benefits of different foods we can use this information to help prevent the risk of certain health conditions.  In this way, food can be used as a preventive medicine of sorts:

medicine food

When I learn that the lycopene found in red foods such as red bell peppers can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer (by up to 35%) I am more likely to feed that to my husband and the men in my life.

When I think about the fact that carotenoids found in orange foods help with vision as well as bone and cell growth I am more likely to grab a bundle of carrots from the farmer’s market and snack on them throughout the week.

The limonoids found in citrus encourage me to add lemon to my water in hopes of lowering cholesteral and adding protection against the risk of breast, skin and stomach cancers.

The isothiocynates found in some greens remind me to add some raw kale to my smoothies in the morning.  Not only do my kids love the look of a green smoothie but the isothiocynates help purge their little bodies of potential carcinogens.

Everytime I attempt to cook an eggplant and it turns out mushy I {should} remember that the anthocyanins found in the eggplants help improve brain function and balance and also may reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

{Source: Eat the Rainbow, Whole Living}

I’m excited to start highlighting some fall fruits and vegetables… Hopefully focusing on the amazing benefits of colorful produce will have me reaching for apples to snack on instead of birthday cake Oreos (one of my guiltiest pleasures!)

Are there any specific Fall foods that you would like to see covered in this series? Please let me know!

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