What colour is YOUR dinner?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remember when you were choosing your dinnerware? What is the perfect colour? What would go with your kitchen? What is the most versatile?
Well, it seems that for most people, the plate has become more important than what goes ON the plate...
Have a look at this:

 And remember this poor woman from the Jamie Oliver specials who was suffering both physically and emotionally? Check out what her week's worth of food looked like!

Notice anything? Brown. Beige. Ecru. Off-white. White.

This disgusting sea of nasty food is anemic...Where the heck is the colour???

Now have a peek at these:

Can you say YUUUMMMMMM!!!!!

Let the passion that you displayed in selecting your dinner plate, spill over to the selection of what goes on it. Choose your food for its bright, pleasing colours, and make sure you get a variety of colours in each meal. Colours and the brightness of those colours, is a pretty easy indication of how many varied nutrients are present in your food. Let your eyes, your sense of beauty, colour, composition, guide you as you construct your meal choices. Let's have a peek at exactly what the colours mean:

  • Orange/yellow foods (oranges, pineapple, tangerines, papaya) - Antioxidants like vitamin C: improve health of mucus membranes and connective tissue. Help prevent heart disease by improving circulation and preventing inflammation.
  • Orange (carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes) - Lutein, which cannot be created in the body, beta carotene and vitamin A help eye health, promoting night vision and warding off cataracts 
  • Green (broccoli, kale, romaine, spinach)- A rich source of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins K, C, E and many complex B vitamins-  powerful anti-cancer compounds. 
  • Red (tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbage)- Lycopene: anti-cancer, prevents prostate problems and reduces the effects of sun damage on the skin.
  • Blue/purple (red apples, beets, blueberries, strawberries, grapes)- Anthocyanins: powerful antioxidants that protect against heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots. Also have anti-aging phytochemicals that help counteract the processed and trans-fat rich Standard American Diet (SAD...this is pretty ironic).
  • White/Green foods (onions, garlic, celery, pears, chives)- Allicin: Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal phytochemical. 
  • Yellow/Green foods (corn, green peas, collard greens, avocado, honeydew)- Lutein and zeaxanthin: help reduce degenerative eye conditions and the risk of osteoporosis. 
This is but a snapshot of what Mother Nature has to offer. So next time you sit down to a meal, check out the colours on your plate. If you're having a dinner that varies in shades of brown (we all have the odd french fries, chicken fingers, etc.), why not take ten seconds and cut up a red and green pepper to add some raw veggies to your meal. A treat doesn't have to mean a completely nutritionless meal- why not have that slice of pizza or chicken wings with a bright stir fry or salad? Your body will be very glad you did.



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