Eating the Rainbow of Food
I love walking in the door of my local grocery store where the first thing I see is the rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables that almost pull me inside the building. Bold red and orange bell peppers, bright lemons and limes, purples and blues, yellows and whites, and all the different shades of green. I honestly have a hard time not biting into ripe plum or breaking open a pack of mini-cucumbers for a snack before I’ve even left the area!
Most grocery stores actually use this layout on purpose, enticing us patrons to fill our carts with these foods first. And as consumers, that’s exactly what we should do, but not just because we’re cutting down on food waste by buying items with a definite shelf-life. The reality is that these foods are significantly healthier for us than a lot of the items for sale in another aisle.
However, when I say “healthy”, I’m talking about so much more than calorie count.
We health-conscious folks know that calories are just a small part of what matters when we decide what foods to eat. We also have to pay attention to the different macronutrients – protein, fats, and carbohydrates– that we put into our bodies too.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. We also have to think about getting those essential vitamins and minerals into our systems too! Our bodies don’t produce things like vitamin C or iron, so we have to ingest them another way, and while swallowing a few supplements every day is a good decision, taking a pill for all the little things that our bodies need would not be my first choice– especially when there is a MUCH more enjoyable way to get all of those micro-goodies…: by EATING!
Here’s where I say a big “Thank you!” to Mother Nature. (It was just Mother’s Day, after all.) In her wisdom, Ma Nature packed all of those micronutrients into those very same foods filling up the produce section. Greater still? She color-coded them! Really!
The phytonutrients in plants express themselves through the pigments that give the plant its color, and each color itself is actually, linked to higher levels of specific nutrients and health benefits. In other words, if you eat a red pepper, you’re going to get all the micronutrients associated with red-pigmented produce!
This ultimately means that by just eating colorful fruits and vegetables, or “eating the rainbow” (to promote the phrase), you are strengthening your body’s abilities to fight inflammation and a variety of diseases and cancers. You are making sure that your body has the vitamins and minerals that it needs to function at its best and protect it at its worst.
So again, I say “Thank you.”
I say it to the blueberries and broccoli, the strawberries and sweet potatoes. I say it to the grocery store that reminds me the moment I walk in the door that I have incredibly nutritious and delicious foods that not only satisfy my hunger and taste buds but help me take care of my body and mind.
And, of course, a final “Thank you” to Mother Nature again. She certainly knows what she’s doing when it comes to keeping us healthy, and like most mothers, she’s definitely got our best interests at heart.
We’ll be highlighting the rainbow foods in future blogs, so stay tuned. And if you want to read a great article about Superfoods – check this BLOG out by our friends over at Eastside Weight + Wellness.