|Eat the Rainbow|
Unlock the secret power of colourful foods
By Michelle Tchea
Nutrition is not a black and white issue, however, the secret to staying healthy can be as simple as remembering your ABCs . . . well ROYGBIV. This rainbow mnemonic is an easy way to meet all the nutritional recommendations set by Health Canada. According to Canada’s Food Guide, experts recommend eating between 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables. Brighten up your shopping basket with colourful produce and switch to a healthy, delicious lifestyle.
A town in Italy with a diet rich in tomato-based dishes and red wine has reported the greatest longevity rate. Coincidence or factual, research supports their red lifestyle, confirming the antioxidant lycopene found in cranberries and strawberries to be responsible for the proper functioning of the body. The benefits of lycopene prevent cancers as well as reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (a bad fat), and improving arterial health. The nutritional powers of the anti-oxidant is maximized with heat and moderate amounts of fat, so grilled tomatoes with olive oil and basil are guilt-free options for Sunday brunch.
Red Food: Strawberries (reduces inflammation and heart disease), Red Peppers (helps with asthma symptoms), Pomegranate, Pink Grapefruit (high levels of antioxidants) and Cranberries (prevents prostate cancer)
Recipes: Roasted red peppers with warm vinaigrette, cranberry granola bars, warm bruschetta toast.
Orange and Yellow
Orange Food: Sweet potatoes (lots of fibre), yellow pepper (loaded with vitamin C), corn (full of energy), bananas (potassium helps with strong bones), pumpkin (magnesium and folate make this a must eat vegetable).
Recipes: Carrot and Parsnip Bake with Rosemary and Garlic, Cantaloupe and Cabbage Asian Slaw.
Green Food: Brussels sprouts (cancer fighting properties), asparagus (promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine), zucchini (omega 3 and copper), avocado (good fats lower cholesterol)
Recipes: Bacon brussels sprouts with paprika, grilled asparagus quiche, zucchini and cheese scones.
Purple & Blue
Blue Food: Eggplant, prunes (aids digestion, full of fibre), plums (helps absorb Iron), beetroot (vitamin C).
Recipes: Oven baked eggplant with horseradish cream; French provincial prune flan.
Michelle Tchea is self-confessed food tragic and a physical chemist with an appetite for trends on science and health matters. The recipes highlighted here are in her book Building a Perfect Meal.