Fill Up On Color: Eat the Rainbow

“Somewhere over the rainbow way up high. There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby”

What does a song about childhood dreams and rainbows have to do with cooking?

Everything.

Let me correct that statement.

It has everything to with cooking AND eating well!

And too few of us are doing just that.

 

We’re Not Eating Enough Vegetables and Fruit

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that only about 9% of us eat the right amount of vegetables and only 12% the recommended amount for fruit.

Diets low in these important categories increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

So, how do we increase our intake of these important plant-based foods?

 

Eat the Rainbow

Eat the rainbow.

Spend most of your time in the grocery store in the produce aisles.

It is here that your eyes will feast on gorgeous colors..

Fill your basket with colors galore and your body will feast on the health benefits.

Phytochemicals produce the color, aroma, and taste of all those beautiful fruits and vegetables.

Once we eat them, they offer us their phytonutrients which provide powerful health benefits.

And, no surprise here, we also suffer from a major phytonutrient gap.

So, fill up on color.

 

Colors to Include in Your Diet

Here are the colors that hold these valuable nutrients and a few reasons to include them in your next shopping trip.

Red (think tomatoes and cherries) for lycopene that has potent antioxidant properties.

Purple and blue (think eggplant and blueberries) for resveratrol and others that provide anti-aging and anti-cancer properties.

Yellow and orange (think butternut squash and oranges) for alpha-carotene for prevention of cardiovascular disease and beta-carotene to up the function of your immune system.

Eating green vegetables and fruits is one of the biggest benefits you can give yourself and is my favorite category. These phytonutrients may be one of the best cancer-fighting foods out there. Two to three servings of green leafy vegetables per week may lower the risk of stomach, breast, and skin cancer.

 

The Most Important Rainbow is the One in Your Produce Aisle

So the next time you head to the grocery store. Remember the rainbow.

Not the dreamy, in a far off kind of place rainbow.

But the one right at your fingertips.

And along with Allan Sherman, comedy writer of the early 20thcentury, you can sing instead:

“Somewhere, over the rainbow, Way up tall, There’s a land where they’ve never heard of cholesterol.”

It just happens to be the produce aisle of your local market.

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