Good nutrition is the foundation for the good life. It effects our health, our looks, our mood, our longevity, even our job performance. But good nutrition can be a tricky path to follow. Every single day science has a new recommendation for what we should and should not eat and even when we should and should not eat it. There is so much information out there these days, you might be tempted to just turn off the media and sit down with a a large bag of Hawai’ian style potato chips.
Before you give in and open that bag, though, let a little color into your life. Color is the simple answer to getting the nutrition you need. Eating a wide variety of colorful food provides a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Use color in your diet, lots of color, and you’ll find more nutrition on your plate than in any supplement. Try to get at least three colors in at at every meal.
Red fruits and vegetables are generally good for your brain: strawberries are anti-inflammatory, tomatoes build strong bones, radishes are rich in folic acid, raspberries are loaded with minerals, beets are cancer fighters.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are vitamin packed. They contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. They tend to lower LDL cholesterol levels, promote healthy joints, and aid in eye health.
Greens (dark leafy greens, not iceberg lettuce) fight free radicals. Spinach, broccoli and asparagus are all rich in lutein, which is good for your eyes, and folate, which is great for red blood cell reproduction. Greens are also good for your mood – if you are irritable or depressed, or sleepless, eat more greens!
Blues and purples are antioxidants. Blueberries are nature’s most powerful antioxidants. Purple foods like red onions, eggplant, and Concord grapes contain anthocyanins which fight cardiovascular disease and delay cellular aging.
Go for the full color spectrum on your plate. Even white fruits and veggies can have great nutritional value. Think of garlic, a legendary nutritional powerhouse, and coconut, the health and nutrition world’s latest favorite. Coconut contains copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and lauric acid, which increases HDL cholesterol (the good kind) levels in the blood, and cytokinins with significant anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Color also has a well-documented affect on happiness. Not only will colorful foods make you feel good, you’ll also feel good while eating them.