Monday, April 23, 2012

Taste the Rainbow

This morning, I want to give you the meeting summary from my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, April 21, 2012.

One of the most colorful and interesting sections of the grocery store is the produce department. Here you'll find bright green lettuce and broccoli, vivid red beets and tomatoes and vibrant yellow squash and citrus fruit.

God wasn't just creating a visual delight when he added color to these edibles: Intense colors indicate that fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Different colors indicate different good-for-you benefits. These foods will not only add beauty to your plate, but they'll benefit your health in countless ways as well.

Deciphering the color code
You already know that food variety is a great way to keep your eating plan fresh, and satisfying. Because each food has a special blend of nutrients, eating a range of foods each day is a great way to get all the important vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Here's what the colors of fruits and vegetables can mean for your health:

Many red foods contain lycopene, which prevents diseases such as prostate cancer and are rich in vitamin C. Anthocyanin provides a rich reddish color and promotes a healthy heart.

Red foods: tomatoes, watermelon, beets, cranberries, apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, spaghetti sauce, red beans, radishes, red carrots, red-skinned potatoes, red peppers, grapefruit, guava, blood oranges, red onions, pomegranates, rhubarb, red pears

Orange foods contain Vitamins A and C and are rich in beta carotene which is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer; maintain good vision; and boost the immune system.

Orange foods: cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, butternut squash, peaches, pumpkins, sweet potatoes

Yellow lentils are packed-full of cancer-fighting phytochemicals, Vitamin C and Potassium.

Yellow foods: butternut squash, mangos, peaches, sweet potatoes

Greens are packed full of magnesium, calcium, folic acid, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and K, which strengthen your blood and respiratory systems. Don’t limit yourself to boring and nearly non-nutritive iceberg lettuce, be adventurous! Branch out to kale, red cabbage, mustard greens, and collard greens. Most green vegetables contain both beta carotene and lutein, which help to maintain good vision, reduce the risk of macular degeneration, and prevent cataracts and colon cancer.

Look at all these green foods: Leeks, Lettuce, Green onion, Okra, Peas, Green pepper, Snow Peas, Honeydew, Kiwi, Limes, apples, Green grapes, Green pears, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Broccoflower, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, Green beans, Green cabbage, Celery, Chayote, Cucumbers, Endive, Leafy greens, Sugar snap peas, Spinach, Watercress, Zucchini, Avocado, and my personal favorite, Kale.

Blueberries contain a variety of anthocyanins, which fight oxidation and them that unique blue color which is rarely found in nature.

Blue foods: blueberries.

Purple fruits and vegetables contain healthy antioxidants which have anti-aging benefits.

Purple foods: grapes, eggplant, plums, prunes, raisins, Purple figs, Purple cabbage, Purple grapes, Purple asparagus, Purple carrots

Yes, some white-colored foods are healthy. Some white vegetables contain phytochemicals including allicin, found in the garlic and onion family and may help with the cardiovascular system. The mineral selenium is found in white mushrooms.

White foods: Cauliflower, Garlic, Ginger, White nectarines, White peaches, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes (white fleshed), Shallots, Turnips, White Corn, Radishes

No, Skittles don’t count. And there’s no such thing as blue raspberry… 

So eat more colors, feel more full, and burn more fat.

I really liked the following visual. It puts things into perspective, if we want to look healthier we have to start eating healthier!

1 comment:

Gwen said...

Back when I tried Weight Watchers a decade ago they taught us all the ways to get as many Baked Lays into one serving by using a scale. Even though the bag said 'X' number of chips per serving, they proved it was like 25 if you did it by weight.

I'm glad to see things have changed :)


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