Tuesday, May 6, 2014

#FRD2014: Eat a Rainbow!

Get ready for my Food Revolution Ambassador soapbox...



Do you remember the first time you said or did something – maybe with pride, maybe with horror – and you saw your parents? Last week, as we were cooking through our CSA box, D, my 10-year-old, looked at his plate and observed, “Mommy, there are a lot of colors on this plate.” Out of my mouth came, “It’s always good to eat a rainbow.” Oh, my! I have become my mother. 

All in all, my mom is pretty cool. I don't think I would have said that when I was 17, but as I hit 40, I think she rocks. Here she is - taking a swimming lesson from the boys, at a ukulele flashmob with R, and with my dad and boys on their 40th anniversary celebration cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago.



But I digress. This is about food. Our plates were always colorful when I was growing up. Though I am not a nutritionist, my mom’s explanation – when I asked why it’s always good to eat a rainbow – makes a lot of sense to me. She explained that different colors in food indicate different nutrients. For example…

Many RED fruits and veggies are loaded with lycopene and anthocyanins that may combat heart disease and decrease the risk and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people aged 60 and older.

The best-known nutrient in ORANGE foods is beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that is good for eye health and can also help protect your skin from sun damage. YELLOW fruits and vegetables also teem with carotenoids and have an abundance of vitamin C.

Thinking green should be a way of eating as well as a way of living. GREEN leafy vegetables are a rich source of minerals – iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium – and vitamins – K, C, E, and many of the B. Go green!

BLUE, INDIGO, and VIOLET fruits and vegetables are extremely high in antioxidants. The nutrients in these foods seem to protect your blood vessels, cartilage, tendons and ligaments from damage. The vitamins and minerals in these foods can also help with memory function and urinary tract health.

I hope these have nutritional benefits inspire you to embrace eating a rainbow. You don’t have to have all of the colors on each plate. Just make a concerted effort to include several colors throughout the day. 

I'm hosting some virtual potlucks - by color - for Food Revolution Day on May 16th, so you can get inspired to eat your rainbow.

Link up your RED recipes, ORANGE recipes, YELLOW recipes, GREEN recipes, and BLUE/PURPLE recipes. I'll round 'em up before the 16th.

Or, you can check out my pinterest boards: RED foods, ORANGE foods, YELLOW foods, GREEN foods, BLUE/PURPLE foods.

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