To spotlight the upcoming biggest loser challenge that will begin on Monday January 31st I wanted to apply emphasis to the real importance of fruits and vegetables in a way that you may not have thought about them before.
Green Foods - Broccoloi, Kale, Leaf & Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts.
Green foods are especially good for the circulatory system. They contain many minerals and B-complex vitamins. Some phytochemicals found in green foods are sulforaphane and indoles that are very powerful anti-cancer compounds. Researchers have tried to use these as isolated phytochemicals but find that they only work while in the whole food form.
Red Foods - Tomatoes, Watermellon & Red Cabbage
Red foods contain many phytochemicals that reduce free radical damage. The phytochemical called lycopene is especially helpful to prevent prostate problems, and reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin. Lycopene is the phytochemical that make the red foods get their red color.
Orange Foods - Carrots, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Apricots & Cantaloupe
The orange foods have the carotenoids that help prevent cancer by repairing the DNA. As our mothers told us, carrots, and other orange foods, are especially good for our eyes, and help with night vision. The deep orange foods help our bodies get the vitamin A we need, without getting excess that can lead to osteoporosis.
Green/Yellow Foods - Yellow Corn, Green Peas, Collard Greens, Avocado & Honeydew Melon
This combination of green & yellow foods contains the carotenoids lutein & zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. These foods are also helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Orange/Yellow Foods - Oranges, Pineapple, Tangerines, Peaches, Papaya & Nectarines
These foods that are orange & yellow in color are high in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, and help to improve the health of the mucus membranes and connective tissue. They help prevent heart disease by improving circulation and preventing inflamation.
White/Green Foods - Onions, Garlic, Celery, Pears & Chives
White & green combination foods contain a variety of phytochemicals. Garlic and onions contain allicin, the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal phytochemical, and they can act as a poor man's antibiotic. Add garlic and onions in your meals to reduce the effects of potential toxicity of high fat meats. Celery has many minerals, expecially organic sodium, that keeps the fluid in the joints healthy.
Red/Blue/Purple Foods - Red Apples, Beets, Blueberries, Strawberries, Cranberries, Prunes, Concord Grapes & Blackberries
These dark colored red/blue/purple foods are very rich in powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that protect again heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots. They have many anti-aging phytochemicals that keep the blood circulating reducing the effects of the Standard American Diet rich in trans fats and processed foods.
When you make a salad make sure you have a variety of different colors. Strive to get at least 5 colors on your plate. Use fruits to balance the rest of the colors needed. This way you will get closer to the 8 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables required, and you will get the variety of nutrients you need daily. Hope this helps.