We all know that fruits and veggies come in all colors of the rainbow but many people don’t realize that making sure you get a variety of color in your diet can be an easy way to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Now that doesn’t mean you should have a plate of Cheetos, gummy bears, and twizzlers, although props to you for being semi-creative. I also want to stress that the term “diet” should be thought of in terms of what you DO eat and not what you DON’T or CAN’T eat. When we think of our diet in terms of restrictions alone that can make it a negative endeavour. Besides, your diet isn’t a fad, it should be your habit, your lifestyle
Can you really tell what you’re getting from a food based on its color? Actually, yes!
- Reds such as tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, red apples, and watermelon contain lycopene and contains great benefits for your skin, can actually help you against sunburns, and helps to fight off various forms of skin, lung, and prostate cancer.
- Orange/Yellows such as carrots, apricots, mangos, yellow squash, and pumpkins contain beta-carotene (some of these more than others, like carrots) and vitamin A which have both been shown to lower the risk of vision issues and macular degeneration. So there is a reason why pilots were instructed to eat lots of carrots during WWII – although it doesn’t have any direct correlation with improving vision and definitely doesn’t give you night vision, looks like I’m still going to need my glasses.
- Greens such as avocados, green beans, broccoli, green apples, cucumbers, spinach, and asparagus get their leafy color from chlorophyll and contain a high amount of Lutein. All of these create similar benefits to the ones mentioned above, including reducing risks for cancer, as well as skin and eye health.
- Blue & Purples like plums, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, and raisins contain an abundance of antioxidants, including anthocyanins that work to fight cells from damage and destruction! They also work to prevent blood clots and prevent heart disease – more reason to make those blackberry pies this summer
- White fruits and veggies like garlic, cauliflower, potatoes, onions, and bananas (yea yea their peal is yellow but the banana itself is actually more white) serve as a great resource for potassium which helps your body maintain its fluid levels – which is why bananas are a great pre and post workout food! Potassium also can help prevent bruising, help cuts/scrapes heal faster (why didn’t I know this as a kid), and can help prevent migraines and headaches. These fruits and vegetables have also been proven to reduce the risk of stomach cancers and aid in reducing blood pressure issues.
So now you’re thinking maybe all those leprechauns were onto something with rainbows… I can’t promise you a pot of gold at the end of your plate but you will be winning the gold metal when it comes to your health (geeze cheesy today much?) I thought I’d include some pictures of what I eat on a regular basis. You’ll notice that I LOVE fish, eggs, and veggies, those are regular occurrences in my diet. But everything is super healthy, the fact is that I try to keep my diet colorful and balanced. It’s important to enjoy food as well as use it for fuel and nutrition.
^Mango salsa sun snack
^ Grilled Panini club, goldfishies, and grapes over cottage cheese!
^ Lunch makings! Open-faced pita sandwiches with hummus, sprouts, mushrooms, and olives are bomb!
^ Breakfast of champions, eggs with chopped onions, fresh tomato, and BACON!!
^ Baked Tilapia with creole seasoning surrounded by garlic veggies
^ Scrambled eggies with mozzarella and veggies
^ Another open-faced hummus sandwich - perfect weekend lunch
^ Taking lunch to work is soo much cheaper and can be so delicious! Salad with cherry tomatoes, garbonzo beans, and cottage cheese for dressing. I don’t eat Yoplaits anymore – they are LOADED with unnecessary sugar
^ Steamed over easy eggs, super simple, inexpensive, and a great way to get protein!
^ Summer time is great for fresh cantaloupe. I’ll buy them in bulk at Costco, then cut them up and take containers into work!
^ My Mom showed me a fun way to cut pineapple for a party. Cut a large pineapple into 4 long hotdog sections. Take a knife and slide it into one section as close to the exterior as possible. Then make another slit at the top, making sure to not cut the top piece off. Then slide the knife in between the two cuts you made cutting the pieces in between. Then alternate pushing them in and out to form a “row-boat”