Eat your colors!

7180973616_3d4ab7c1f0_bSpring brings us rebirth of nature with vibrant colors. Lush green lawns, flowers that bloom in every color and skies of blue, orange and purple depending on what time of day. As nature changes in color, our diets need to change in color too.

Eat your colors! What colors you ask? Red, orange, yellow, green and purple of course. Each have their own benefits. Here is a list to stimulate your appetite and build your healthy dishes.

Red – strawberries, raspberries, red grapes, pomegranates, red apples, pink grapefruit, red potatoes, red bell peppers, red beets, and chile peppers.

The reds can offer Capsaicin, Lycopene and Resveratrol. Lycopene found in tomatoes is best absorbed by the body when combined with fat like olive oil. This carotenoid may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 35%.

Orange – citrus like oranges, cantaloupe, papaya, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash.

The oranges can offer Hesperidin, naringenin, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Citrus has powerful flavonoids that fight inflammation and blood vessel damage caused by poor diets.

Yellow – pears, pineapple, mango, lemons, and corn.

The yellows can offer lutein, zeaxanthin, bromelain and limonoids. Bromelain found in pineapple may ease indigestion.

Green – kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, celery, parsley, watercress, leeks, arugula, spinach, avocado, artichokes, radish sprouts, kiwi and green tea.

The greens offer chlorophyll, apigenin, luteolin, catechins and isothiocyanates. Isothiocynates found in cruciferous vegetables help purge the body of potential carcinogens. Eat raw for the highest supply. Eat your Kale!

Purple – eggplant, red and purple cabbage, purple cauliflower, grapes and berries.

The purples can offer anthocyanins, ellagic acid and indoles. Anthocyanins (antioxidants) found in berries, grapes, eggplant and red cabbage improve brain function and balance.

Dine on a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and you will reap health-promoting nutrients! This Easter, a holiday associated with Spring, my family will eat their colors as we enjoy Leg of Lamb and Red Potatoes roasted in Rosemary Olive Oil, Orange Couscous Salad, and Panna Cotta with balsamic berries. Happy Easter and happy healthy cooking!

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