Have you ever thought about what is in the food you eat? I certainly got a wake-up call after reading my favorite book, Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. Not only did I learn about what is in the processed food I USE to eat but I also learned a lot about what is packed in the beautiful fruits and veggies I now eat.
I wanted to share this with you and offer a challenge for the week. I want you to try to eat every color of the rainbow this week. Try a new fruit or veggie that you have never tried before. Also, I want you to focus on creating meals full of color. When I used to make meals, my plate always used to look dull because it was full of only whites, browns, and a few yellows. Now, I LOVE to look at my plate because it is FULL of multiple colors!
Write a comment below sometime this week and tell me what your plate looks like. Include the colors and the names of foods. Also, if you try a new fruit or veggie, let me know!
Also, do your best to try to buy locally. I want to try hard to support the local farmers in our area this year. We have a fabulous Farmer's Market in Columbia and we are so fortunate to live in an area where tons of wonderful produce is grown year-round. Check out the hours of the Farmer's Markets in SC. If you cannot make it out there, 14 Carrot has a great supply of locally grown produce.
Are you up for the challenge?! I know you are!
Red Fruits/Veggies: All red fruits and veggies share the phytochemical lycopene. Phytochemical Lycopene is a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant. The tomato is one of the richest sources of lycopene and is also packed with Vitamin C and fiber! These fruits and veggies also reduce tumor growth, supports joint tissues in arthritis, reduces LDL cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure.
Examples: tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, raspberries, radishes, peppers, watermelon
Purple Fruits/Veggies: Purple fruits and veggies packed with anti aging, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar lowering effects. Blueberries contain the highest antioxidant content of fruits. These fruits and veggies also limit the activity of cancer cells, lower LDL cholesterol, boosts immune system, reduces tumor growth, supports healthy digestion, improves calcium and mineral absorption, etc.
Examples: eggplant, grapes, blueberries, plums
Yellow Fruits and Veggies: Many citrus fruits fall in this category and are loaded with vitamin C which helps manage stress. They also help promote healthy joints, tissue growth, collagen formation, fight harmful free radicals, build healthy bones, lower LDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Examples: bananas, lemons, squash, peppers, mangos, pineapple, apples, star fruit, corn
Orange Fruits and Veggies: These foods are high in beta-carotene that may help cells communicate and help increase the body's ability to avoid cancer. These foods also are very important during pregnancy because they play an important role in the production of progesterone. Orange fruits also have many of the health benefits of the yellow fruits and veggies. (see above)
Examples: carrots, peaches, oranges, tangerines, cantaloupe, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, acorn squash
Green Fruits and Veggies: Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.
Examples: kiwi, apples, cucumbers, peas, beans, spinach, arugula, collards, peppers, zucchini, lettuce, broccoli, pears, grapes, avocados, green onions, celery, cabbage