Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rainbows On your Plate

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. My affinity for rainbows first began when I was inducted into the Order of the Rainbow for Girls. Rainbows figured prominently in our decision to purchase the Southwest Fl Supercuts salons. When touring the market, 4 double rainbows appeared above Tampa Bay. We considered it a good omen and it turned out to be so. I have now learned that incorporating the color spectrum at meal time is easy and good for me.

The pot at the end of the rainbow might just be filled with that which is more precious than gold: optimal health and wellness. Eating a diet that incorporates the colors of the rainbow ensures you get sufficient macro- and micronutruients, along with all the accompanying vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and such from your diet. You will notice that what have become known as Superfoods, foods like tomatoes, spinach and pumpkin, comprise the recommendations of the Rainbow Diet. Rather than another diet fad, the Rainbow Diet provides another path for determining a desirable nutrition plan.

Excerpted from Rainbow Diet...

Reds, Blues and Purples

Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, red and purple grapes, beets and purple cabbage all contain antioxidant compounds that protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals. The pigments that give color to these foods most specifically protect your blood vessels, cartilage, tendons and ligaments from damage. It is presently thought that consuming these pigments regularly reduces the likelihood of cancer by preventing tissue degeneration that sometimes follows chronic irritation such as smoking or chronic inflammatory disorders. Tomatoes and watermelon have lycopenes that are proven to prevent heart disease and prostate cancer. Red snapper is a great fish – a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. And let’s not forget about red meat packed with essential amino acids that are used throughout our body. Red teas include red zinger, cinnamon, raspberry and others. Red spices are Chile pepper which is known to reduce appetite, and paprika. Chew on some purple fox glove and receive some digitalis for rapid heart beat. Cayenne pepper can reduce heart burn and passion flower tea promotes relaxation.

Yellows and Oranges

these fruits and vegetables are high in carotenoids which have anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. Carotenoids lead to an increase in the number of white blood cells circulating throughout the bloodstream having basically the same effects as the well known immune booster Echinacea. Try to eat at least 2-3 different orange or yellow foods daily. Orange foods like carrots or pumpkin are high in beta carotene and vitamin A. They are also abundant in keratolytic enzymes and offer more than 100 beneficial components for healthy skin of any age. Wild salmon is know for its high fish oil content; omega 3 fatty acids that prevent and fight heart disease, headaches, skin aging, etc. Spices include turmeric, which possesses tremendous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This herb used for wound healing, digestive aid, liver protection and heart tonic. Turmeric is sought of protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Cinnamon is excellent for sugar control as well as stomach ulcer and gum disease prevention. Orange teas are apricot, peach, and tangerine. Yellow foods (citrus family) are full of vitamin C and selenium which are potent antioxidants. Honey, in addition to its antioxidant properties inhibits bacterial growth of wound infecting bacteria. Yellow species are amongst the most healing ones: cumin is used for enhanced digestion, ginger often used for nausea. Yellow teas are lemon peel, eucalyptus, ginger tea.


Chlorophyll present in all green plants has anti-cancer and detoxifying properties. As far as quantity goes, the more greens you eat- the better. It is recommended to eat at least one serving daily of green leafy vegetables, as they contain many health promoting constituents. In addition to chlorophyll, green leaves are high in carotenoids, bioflavinoids, vitamins and organic mineral complexes. Green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin B-12 and iron. Avocado is high in magnesium and has friendly oils. Green grapes have anti viral properties while 2-3 kiwis a day can replace aspirin for some people as it reduces clotting and lowers artery blocking fat in the blood. Green spices are countless from basil to tarragon to dill, which has been used traditionally as a remedy for cancer, estrogen deficiency and intestinal gas. Dill contains various photochemical that fight infection, bacteria and insects, etc. Green teas are full of antioxidants that protect us from whole array of illnesses. Other green teas include jasmine, mint tea, chamomile.

While information about the nutrients of foods can be interesting, we probably don't want to get hung up on it. What is important to take away is that the most nutritious foods come in a variety of colors.

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