|Bright, Beautiful Foods Add a Wide Variety of Health Benefits|
|Written by Launie Kettler|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:49|
If you want to hear ten different opinions about something, ask a group of ten people about their theory of food. Or, on the internet if you ask one question about trying to diet, be prepared to have it answered in 100 different ways.
In this case I was reading a food forum the other day and one of the commenters said that she wanted to lose weight and could anyone suggest some good healthy diet foods? She was promptly inundated with answers. I said Tabbuleh (my favorite healthy snack/meal) and other replies ranged from: “Kale smoothies and no carbs. Ever,” to “Carbs are fine.”
And that made me realize that to a certain extent “diet food” is widely subjective.
So, for fun I'm going to post some photos of my favorite ingredients with their health benefits.
The red family provides lycopene and anthocyanins which are cancer fighting agents. And they are said to be particularly good at fighting prostate cancer.
Orange foods - like carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes - are loaded with beta-carotene which is good for eyesight, fighting cancer and heart disease.
If you want lutein - which is good for your eyes and hair - look to the greens. Kale, swiss chard, spinach and broccoli are good for those reasons, as well as reducing the chance of birth defects in pregnant women.
Natural blue foods are filled with anthocyanins, which help prevent cells from being damaged and help lower the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Another great food is cauliflower. It has phytochemicals like anthoxanthins which helps to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and can help reduce the chance of stomach cancer and heart disease. It's also an anti-inflammatory. Different colors of cauliflower have slightly different nutritional profiles because of different hues. For instance, because orange cauliflower is orange it has those same properties as white, but it has more beta-carotene.
Tomatillos have antioxidant phyto-chemicals known as withanolides. Ixocarpalactone-A is one such withanolides present in tomatillo and it has anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties. Tomatillos are also a good source of copper, iron, phosphorous, manganese, and other minerals.
And now, my favorite and most used ingredient – red onions. These guys are one of the best natural sources of quercetin, a bioflavonoid. It is widely believed that onions are fantastic for suppressing the rhinoviruses that are the underlying cause of common cold among other major health benefits.
Many nutritionists believe that the more colors there are mixed into a meal the healthier it is, because you are mixing antioxidants. How delicious do these mixed antioxidants look?
(Photos by Launie Kettler)