I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Color Wheel of Vitamins and Minerals

Eating a Variety of Color:
I've read many articles over the years, saved some, although unfortunately, I can't recall all of the sources. I even studied nutrition and food in my nursing courses, but my greatest education came from my mother and being raised off her garden! I can thank her for my basic knowledge of herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
Peas, A good crunch, fresh, right out of the garden, you can pop them into your mouth!
Recently I have had a few conversations with girlfriends who are trying to lose weight and with a colleague who is also a foodie chef and it got me to thinking that is was time for a blog designed to share the good fortune of wonderful food! 

Eating the Color Spectrum for Good Nutrition

It is no secret that eating a variety of colors in your diet will give you a better range of vitamins and minerals, so perhaps sometimes we just need a reminder to mix it up! Keep in mind Noah's rainbow in the sky, the next time you head to the grocery store and pick up a variety of color! If you usually just grab banana's, try instead some plums and oranges for your sweet tooth. If you're hooked on corn, give broccoli a try tonight!
Image is Mediterranean food.
 Image: There is more than one way to make a taco.
Another strategy is to try new types of food, like Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Asian; Today, you can find that the Internet is full of recipes to try! Unlike the fast food variety of Chinese food, instead of relying on unhealthy fat for flavor, expose yourself to flavor in the form of savory herbs, various peppers or spices, and a glorious rainbow of vegetables!
The Color Wheel of Vitamins and Minerals: 

·         Red. In fruits and vegetables, red is vitamin A (beta carotene) and vitamin C. Typically, red produce are also high in manganese and fiber. Choose red bell peppers, tomatoes, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranates, and beets. Red apples also contain quercetin, a compound that seems to fight colds, the flu, and allergies. Tomatoes, watermelon, and red grapefruit are loaded with lycopene, a compound that appears to have cancer-fighting properties.
·         Orange. Just a shade away from red, orange in fruits and vegetables signifies a similar vitamin and mineral profile. You’ll get vitamins C, A, and B6, potassium, and fiber in choices such as butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, oranges, pumpkins, orange peppers, nectarines, and peaches.

·         Yellow. Banana is probably the first yellow fruit that comes to mind. It delivers potassium and fiber. It is the most calorie dense fruit you will find, which means it will also keep you full longer. Potassium and fiber, vitamin A, and magnesium you will find in other yellow produce, such as spaghetti squash, summer squash, and yellow bell peppers.

·         Green. Dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients, and because they are low calorie, they are considered "free food" in most diets. This means pile them on your plate! Dark leafy greens provide a staggering number of vitamins and minerals, compared to ice berg lettuce, that is more like consuming water. The dark leafy green group is spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, field greens for lettuce salads, broccoli and asparagus. Because of their rich lutein content, which aids eyesight, and foliate, which supports cell reproduction, they are well worth eating. So green it up! The calories only show their ugly head if you add salad dressing or butter on them. Try instead, a mixture of minced garlic, black pepper, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of olive oil. --And Instead of adding butter to cooked greens, try steaming them in chicken broth.

Play with your food!

·         Blue. Think blue, and you’re most likely picturing a bowl of blueberries, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. They are also loaded with fiber and make an incredibly versatile addition to your diet. Rather than eat plain pancakes, try making a whole-grain pancake and add blueberries to the batter! --And then add several raw ones on top, adding more yum to your cooked breakfast! Eat them by the handful, sprinkle them on cereal, or add them to salads for a sweet, different and delicious taste!

·         Purple. This group includes vegetables like red onions and eggplant, and fruits such as blackberries, Concord grapes, currants, and plums. Purple indicates the presence of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that protect blood vessels and preserve healthy skin. You can also find vitamin A and flavonoids in purple vegetables like radicchio, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, and purple carrots. If you garden, try some of these "Easter Egg" colors; an added benefit: Kids may be more inclined to eat them!

White. White may not be much of a color, but white vegetables, such as cauliflower, rutabagas, and parsnips, still shine with vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, K, and foliate, and they contain fiber. Don’t forget onions and garlic, which have a compound called allicin that seems to protect the heart and blood vessels from damage. Although, unlike the folk-lore they do nothing to keep the imaginary vampires away. ;-)

If your fruit and vegetable basket has been limited to peas and grapes, exploring the rainbow of choices available at your local farmers’ market or the produce section of your grocery store, will reward you with a bounty of vitamins and minerals as well as delicious meals! Bon appetit!