I think one thing that gets me so excited now is the color that surrounds me with all my fresh produce and pure foods that I am eating. With a design background, I always had a passion for color. I would try to achieve bright hues on paper and was so attracted to how color interacted with each other in my prints. I wasn't aware until I changed my eating habits, how colorful the fresh food world is. Its quite amazing to me how a natural element can produce shades so vibrant and attractive to the eye. Cooked fruits and veggies lose their brilliance, a sign of losing the nutrients that make them what they are. I think when you are so used to the Standard American Diet, you don't take notice to these things as much. Since eating clean, I've noticed all my senses became more sensitive- taste, sight, and smell. My taste-buds have changed dramatically and I now appreciate the simplicity of eating something like a nectarine. I no longer crave things the way I did. If I'm craving sweet, a carrot or sweet potato or piece of fruit completely fulfills that craving rather then a cupcake, cookie, or candy bar (empty and non-nutritious calories). I am more sensitive to sodium now too. I limit my intake almost completely. In the past, I would salt up everything and anything! Its amazing when I look back and picture the large amounts of sodium, sugar, meats and fried & processed foods I would consume. No wonder my inflammation was always out of control. The most amazing part is, every doctor all my life told me to stay FAR away from every food I have listed below. And guess what? I listened to them. Its a whole new ball-game now folks...It's veggie paradise in my belly and my world is more colorful because of it!!
Below is just some info I've gathered about the color spectrum of fruit and veggies. Hope you find it helpful in choosing your next meals.
Red: These fruits and veggies carry a powerful antioxidant called Lycopene. Lycopene can help to fight heart disease, some cancers (especially prostate cancer) and aging. Beets are considered an excellent blood purifier. Anthocyanins in strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and other fruits and vegetables act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage.
Some examples of the red group include
Yellow summer or winter squash
Green: This one is essential. Green fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigment called chlorophyll. They are also full of phytochemicals that keep your body healthy. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale and turnips are loaded with folate, minerals, and fiber. Folate, or folic acid, is important for developing red blood cells and protecting against colon cancer. Some members of the green group, including spinach and other dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber and celery, contain lutein, helpful to the eyes in preventing age-related macular degeneration.
Some examples of the green group include
Orange/Yellow: these are usually colored by natural plant pigments called carotenoids. Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists have also reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function.
Some examples of the orange/yellow group include
Yellow summer or winter squash
Blue and Purple: High in flavanoids, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Flavonoids are another form of antioxidants that fortify your cellular walls, protecting them from oxygen radicals that cause problems inter cellular and even DNA problems. Anthocyanins, the pigment responsible for these blue hues can help the body fight off harmful carcinogens. Blueberries are super packed with Vitamin C, Folic Acid, and high in Fiber and Potassium. Eating more blueberries is linked with improved memory function and healthy aging.
These are some examples of the blue/purple group:
White: White fruits and vegetables are colored by pigments called anthoxanthins. They contain health-promoting chemicals such as allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Allicin may also to help to increase the body's ability to fight infection. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are good sources of the mineral potassium. Even cauliflower has a powerful phytochemical in it that may inhibit cancer growth. Jicama, a well-known vegetable in the raw world, has high amounts of Vitamin C.
Some examples of the white group include
Here is a nice website that allows you to sort through Raw recipes by fruit or veggie.