If you’re a health nut, you know the merits of a diet that is full of variance. Variance in our diet ensures that we receive all the nutrients we need to nourish our bodies. We need a variety of vitamins and minerals, fiber, proteins, antioxidants, and other essentials to ensure that our we don’t just survive—we thrive. And, and dietitians and nutritionists point out, one of the best ways to get everything that the body needs to stay nourished is to keep your food colorful. It’s often beneficial to get plenty of colors in your diet, since these colors can indicate the nutrient contents of the food at hand. Now, varying the color of the foods in your diet isn’t a steadfast rule. After all, you could consume a doughnut covered in sprinkles that are all of the colors of the rainbow, and you’d simply be eating hollow carbohydrates. However, it’s smart to be cognizant of the colors you’re consuming, as well as the value of the foods in your diet. That’s why we’re taking some time today to offer up some of the best foods that span the color of the rainbow. Again, you can bolster your health by varying your consumption of all of the following foods:
When you’re at the grocery store, grab plenty of reds. Opt for tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, and beets.
Tomatoes are packed with vitamins, including vitamin A and C—two powerful antioxidants—which help to reduce free radicals throughout the body (which may cause cancer).
Pomegranate seeds are also full of antioxidants. Plus, if you consume the whole seed, the health benefits are twofold: You’ll reduce your risk of contracting cancer while boosting your fiber consumption, which (as the Mayo Clinic points out):
- “Normalizes bowel movements.
- Helps maintain bowel health.
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- Helps control blood sugar levels.
- Aids in achieving healthy weight.”
Now don’t forget to eat your beets. As One Green Planet notes, “Red beets are a good source of vitamin C for fighting the common cold, and betaine for cardiovascular health. Beets have zero fats, are low in calories, and are a great energy booster because they are high in carbohydrates and a natural source of sugar.”
Next, it’s time to browse your local grocery store for orange foods. The International Food Information Council Foundation suggests that you seek out “carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, and cantaloupe” because these foods include a compound called carotenoids like beta-carotene (which turns into vitamin A). The same article points out that “Vitamin A has many roles within the body: it helps support the function of white blood cells (which is important for a healthy immune system), promotes bone growth, and helps to regulate cell growth and division.”
It’s time to look for citrus. Lemons are excellent for your immunity. In the same One Green Planet article, our author Emily Cardiff points out that lemons “contain citric acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, bioflavonoids, and pectin.” They also aid digestion and cleanse the liver.
Eat This Not That tells us that you’d better pick up a bunch of bananas while you’re in the store—in fact, this informational health food advocate tells us in their title that there are, in fact, “21 Amazing Things That Happen To Your Body When You Eat Bananas.” On the list, Eat This Not That argues that bananas will boost your mood, help you sleep, regulate your blood sugar, and help you to control your weight, among other benefits.
Now, everyone knows that most green veggies are packed with power. Green leafy vegetables are well-known for their healthy proteins, high fiber content, calcium, and nutrients. Everyday Health gives us a list of green foods that are excellent for the diet. Here’s what made the list:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Tea
- Green Beans
- Green Pepper
OK, there aren’t many blue foods that exist naturally—which is to say that most blue foods have some food coloring added to them. Now, there is one delightful, natural, blue food that is an exception to the rule. The blueberry is a superfood that offers up a slew of benefits to its consumers. Medical News Today praises the blueberry, noting that “Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like blueberries decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.”
Purple foods still aren’t as plentiful as green foods, but there are certainly healthy, natural food items that aid can aid our health as much as they could be used to commemorate Prince. The Telegraph, in their article entitled Start eating purple for good health: the science behind 2017’s new food trend, notes that folks are in a frenzy for purple produce. The author, Joanna Freedman, points out that “the darker the colour of a food, the higher the contents of antioxidants and nutrients will be, and the healthier the food. In fact, one health and nutrition study found that those who ate purple fruit and vegetables regularly often had a reduced risk of getting high blood pressure and low cholesterol.“
Whether white is a color or not is up for debate, but it’s true that there are some healthy foods that are white. Dairy products, for instance, are full of phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin D, which are crucial for muscle and bone strength. And don’t forget about cauliflower, which, as Dr. Mercola informs us, has cancer fighting, heart-health boosting, and anti-inflammatory properties, among other benefits.
In short, there are so many great foods out there, and their color can reveal a lot about the health benefits that reside within your grub. Try to mix up your diet, increasing the variance of the colors that you consume. You can bolster your health by eating a rainbow of food.
For more health tips and information, come back and visit the blog here at West Valley Health and Wellness. As your Top Rated Local® Peoria health and wellness center, we’re proud to provide articles to keep our readers, and our clients, healthy. If you live here in Peoria, feel free to schedule an appointment to our family health clinic.