Take a look at this painting. How the painter has made use of various colours and shades! What do you feel on seeing this? Don’t you just wish you could be part of that picturesque landscape?
Let’s take this closer to your life. Have you ever heard that you should “eat a rainbow” of foods? Have you ever felt the colour of food influence your mood? Dazzle your food palette with colour! Eating foods in a variety of colours – red, green, yellow, purple, orange, white, blue – not only makes the dish attractive to kids and adults alike, but mixing things up also provides a whole range of nutrients.
So, “think variety, think colour” and everybody wins!
Here’s how –
Whether we think of a blazing fire or an early morning sunrise, orange and red are two of the most vibrant colors in the spectrum. Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Watermelon, Apples – these help increase heart and circulatory health, improve memory, decrease the risk of certain types of cancers among critical benefits. Added benefits from eating orange foods like Oranges, Carrots have been linked to skin and eye health, increased immunity.
Go Green! is the slogan of our times. It is not just about saving environment but also our health. By simply adding more green vegetables to our menu, we can proudly say, ‘I’m going green!’ Capsicum, Broccoli, Zucchini, Spinach, Artichokes, Jalapeno, Olives, herbs like Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Parsley, Cilantro (commonly known as coriander), Kiwi, Avacados, Cucumber, Cabbage, it’s a long list which means we have a lot of easily available options. Benefits include a lower risk of some cancers, improved eye health, rejuvenated muscles and bone, and strong teeth.
The Sun is the source of all energy. Foods with this golden hue pack in a lot of power, like Lemon, Corn, Yellow Peppers, Squash, Pineapple. It is for purifying the body and stimulating our nervous system. So, let’s add this warm colour to our meals and see the difference.
Have you ever tasted black currant ice cream? The purple shade stands out from the rest. Feeling the blues may sound like feeling low, however, blue/ purple foods give out a bright hue, which is unusual and don’t figure too high in our choices. Nevertheless, Eggplant or brinjal, Purple Cabbage, Blackberries, Plums add that texture to our plate that can only be seen to enjoy! If you still need more motivation, blue/ purple foods have been linked with antioxidants and anti-aging properties in the body.
While many white foods are refined, like white bread and white rice, there are a lot of white foods that are packed with nutrients. The key benefit of natural white foods is increased immunity. Garlic, Onions, Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Potatoes… sound familiar? So, pick them up more often and see yourself glow. In fact, Milk, Yoghurt, Cheeses, eaten moderately can also serve the same function as the veggies.
We eat foods primarily based on their taste, their cost, and how convenient they are. The food manufacturers have done a great job of creating many foods that are easy to eat, inexpensive, and rich in sugar, fat, and salt so that they taste good. Starches, fats, and sweets are the least expensive foods in the diet, so it’s easy to see why we lean toward these ‘brown/beige’ foods. They fill us up for very little monetary cost, but there are significant health costs to a diet that is so high in refined carbohydrates and devoid of the vitamins, minerals, fiber that are so abundant in natural foods.
We may not eat many colourful foods; cooking vibrant meals may take more time than we’re used to. But don’t let that dissuade us from this healthier way of eating. It’s definitely doable. We’ll feel so much better, too.
Plus, it’s a reminder to slow down and enjoy the food that is nourishing our body. Eating should be an experience for people. It’s supposed to be something we love. These days we don’t even have time to look at our food. Let’s take time to enjoy the food we’re eating and what we’re putting into our body.