In this series of “Catch a Rainbow Everyday”, you’ll not only find out how but also why you should colour your plate. After looking at RED, the first colour of the rainbow last week, let’s look at ORANGE and YELLOW this week.
Orange and/or yellow fruits and vegetables are naturally coloured by pigments called carotenoids. Beta-carotene and alpha-carotene are carotenoids (phytonutrients) which are converted in the body to vitamin A, an important nutrient in maintaining healthy eye and mucous membranes, as well as skin and bone health. Not only that, orange and/or yellow-friendly foods are also often excellent source of vitamin C (protects the skin against free-radical damage and promotes repair of damaged DNA) and some even contain omega-3 fatty acids (potentially lower risk of heart disease).
Photo Credit: Kurtus Garbutt
- help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and enhance the immune system
- rich in folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects
- promote alkaline balance in the body, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones and teeth
- contain potassium, fibre, and vitamin B6 for general health support
How to gold plate your food plate?
Fill you plate with the below beta-carotene rich foods:
Sweet potatoes: orange fleshed sweet potatoes contain the richest amount of beta carotene as compared with any other food.
Carrots: bright orange coloured carrots are almost synonymous with beta carotene. One cup of cooked carrots contains about 1200mg of vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and healthy skin.
Feature and Above Photo Credit: Nicholas Noyes
Spinach (dark green leafy veggies): try ordering spinach as your side (instead of the sinful truffle fries) next time as one cup of cooked spinach contains over 300 percent of the daily value recommended for consumption for vitamin A.
Kale: a cup of cooked kale contains over 100 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. Kale is a free-radical fighting superfood that also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Squash: a cup of cooked squash contains over 200 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. This starchy superfood has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for cardiovascular health.
Cantaloupe: one cup of diced cantaloupe contains about 100 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. Simply mix some diced cantaloupe with watermelon (red fruit) to maximise the colours on your plate (and for optimal health).
Apricots: not only are apricots rich in beta carotene, they are also rich in fibre (good for bowel movement and in lowering bad cholesterol). Do avoid certain dried apricots you find at the grocery stores as they can be very high in sugar content (always read the food label)!
Simply by “catching a rainbow everyday”, you can increase your nutrient intake and healthy food components and thus improve your health as well. So stay tuned for more nutritious information and health tips on how to colour your plate!
Image Credit: Faith Globe