We've been fed with Popeye fables of how important our greens are, but what about eating our reds, yellows, blues and purples too? Let's face it, if your diet is a monotonous regime of the same veggies day in and day out, then you need a change in your menu.
Good food is as good as it looks.You first eat with your eyes and colorful foods are the happiest. But food is not colorful by accident or only to make it look pretty. There is a reason why cherries are red, carrots are orange and spinach is green. It is the 'color' of food that assesses its nutritional make-up more so than the 'type'. Every color essays a specific role in our body. Interestingly, the spectrum of food colors suggested by health experts includes red, orange, yellow, blue/purple and white which are synonymous to a rainbow. That's what they call eating a rainbow! Also keep in mind, the deeper and more intense the color, the more nutritious it becomes.
Red: The crimson red tint comes from lycopene. Red foods are known to promote heart health and boost immunity. Lycopene rich foods are known to reduce cholesterol and make your skin more sun resistant. Tomatoes, beetroot, cherries, watermelon, pomegranate, red peppers, strawberries are prime examples of crimson foods that heal.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup Orange: The sunset hues of orange foods come from carotenoids like beta- carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin which are known for their anti-oxidant mojo. Dote on oranges, carrots, apricots and sweet potatoes; they do wonders to your skin, making you look younger and fresher. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A is essential for a good vision and general growth & development of the body cells. Foods like mangoes, pumpkin and papaya contain beta-cryptoxanthin which is known to reduce the incidence of lung cancer. It is also a source of Vitamin A but about twice less stronger than beta-carotene.
Khatta Meetha Kaddu
Yellow: Yellow food like bell peppers, pineapples and lemons are packed with Vitamin C. Our body cannot make or store Vitamin C therefore it's advisable to gorge on foods loaded with it for your daily dose.
Stuffed Yellow Peppers
White: White flesh foods like pears, cauliflower, cabbage and banana fuel your need for dietary fibers. I'd like to call them the 'smart carbs'. They are known to slash the risk of a heart stroke.
Banana Oat Bread
Steamed Cabbage Parcels
Pears in Caramel Sauce
Green:The healthiest and yet the most unloved colour. Good greens like spinach, beans, broccoli, peas are hailed as wonder foods. Phytonutrients are the special chemicals found in green foods. The dark leafy ones are full of water with very few calories. They are low in sugar and carbs, making them ideal for all the weight watchers.
Hara Masala Kebab
Matar ka Dulma
Broccoli and Lentil Chaat
Blue and Purple:Lastly, the blues and the purples. These are the superstars of health. They are powerhouses of a chemical called anthocyanin, which is known to guard against the aging process and improve our mental functions. Blueberries, eggplants, purple grapes, jamun and red cabbage should top your grocery lists.
Coconut Custard with Jamun Sauce