Published : Tuesday, April 10, 2012 00:00
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WHEN it comes to filling your plate with the healthy five colors of food, there’s always a big question about the quantity and how much a person should consume in a day.
Science continues studying the benefits of a colorful diet and they are discovering the secret of why some societies enjoy long life with low incidence of health ills. Traditional diets in Japan and China consisting of fish, rice, soy and an abundance of colorful produce promote longevity and health. However, it has been found that Asians who move to the United States and assume the American standard diet – high in salt and fat and depleted of vital nutrients – suffer the same ills as their American counterparts.
So, filling your plate with rainbow colors is easy knowing the benefits of each color.
* Red. This provides lycopene, an antioxidant that fights cancer: tomato-based foods (higher in cooked than raw), watermelon and pink grapefruit.
* Purple. This provides anthocyanins, antioxidants that are known for reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke by impeding clot formation: blueberries, red apples, red pepper, red wine, purple or red grapes, prunes, eggplants, strawberries, plums, red cabbage and raspberries.
* Orange. This provides alpha- and beta- carotene that promotes eye and skin health and may fight certain cancers: carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, mango, apricots, sweet potato and acorn squash.
* Yellow. This boasts high levels of beta cryptoxanthin, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage: oranges, peaches, lemons, pineapple, yellow grapefruit and papaya.
* Green. This is rich in isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and indoles that stimulate enzymes in the liver to fight cancer: cauliflower, broccoli, kale, green or yellow pepper, cabbage, green beans and green peas.
Here’s how to put them in your diet:
* Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers to your sandwich.
* Have berries, grilled pineapple or baked apples for dessert.
* Top off cereal or yogurt with berries or bananas.
* Have carrot and celery sticks on hand for a quick snack.
* Enjoy green, red and yellow pepper strips with chunky salsa.
* Experiment with making fruit or veggie smoothies.
* Enjoy fresh fruit shake this summer.
* Include a salad for lunch or dinner.
* Keep mini boxes of raisins in your desk or purse.
Ailments like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and other deadly diseases are not inevitable at all. They’re consequences of how you live and how you eat. By fortifying diets with colorful fruits and vegetables may prevent many of these diseases from striking in the first place.