This Week’s Meal Inspiration for October 11-18th, 2021
Is it possible to eat a rainbow? Yes! and it is important that we do. Our bodies get needed phytonutrients when we eat plant foods of different colors. These Phytonutrients protect us from chronic diseases and have powerful anti-cancer and anti-heart disease properties. The American Cancer Society recommends about 2-3 cups of fruit and veggies a day. The US dietary guidelines recommend around 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of veggies!
The more color on our plate, the healthier our meals! This week, we explore colorful meals like Grilled Salmon with Blackberry Bell Pepper Salsa and One Pot Spicy Thai Zoodles. Talk about colorful!
In the Harvard Medical Blog, Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN, breaks down the phytonutrients by the color:
- Red: Rich in the carotenoid lycopene, which inhibits the damage caused by free radicals, protecting not only against prostate cancer but also against heart and lung disease.
Found in: strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, tomatoes, cherries, apples, beets, watermelon, red grapes, red peppers, red onions
- Orange and yellow: These foods contain beta cryptothanxin, which may aid intracellular communication and prevent heart disease.
Found in: carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, oranges, bananas, pineapple, tangerines, mango, pumpkin, apricots, winter squash (butternut, acorn), peaches, cantaloupe, corn
- Green: These foods contain cancer-fighting chemicals such as sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles, all of which inhibit the activity of carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds).
Found in: spinach, avocados, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kiwi fruit, collard greens, green tea, green herbs (mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, and basil)
- Blue and purple: These colors contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which delay cellular aging and reduce the formation of blood clots.
Found in: blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, Concord grapes, raisins, eggplant, plums, figs, prunes, lavender, purple cabbage
- White and brown: There is an antitumor compound found in the onion family called allicin. This group of foods also contains antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol. Found in: onions, cauliflower, garlic, leeks, parsnips, daikon radish, mushrooms
I hope you enjoy the colorful meals I share this week or find ways to add color to your meals. One way to add more veggies to your day is to start at breakfast. One of my favorite meals to start my day is to sauteed mushrooms with garlic with spinach and roasted tomatoes in an omelet or with scrambled eggs. You can also add berries to your oatmeal or kale to your smoothie. Do you have any tricks to sneak in color to your breakfast?
Where can you make changes this week to add color to your meals? Can you substitute lettuce for a wrap or bun? Add veggies to your spaghetti sauce or taco meat? Let me know how it goes for you this week and share anything you learn. Also, I’d love to know what you think of any of this week’s meals.
All of this week’s recipes include hyperlinks to recipes I found around the internet.
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Note: We’ve provided these recipes and menu information for educational and inspirational purposes. Remember, we’re therapists and coaches, not doctors or registered dieticians! You should follow the advice of your healthcare provider or dietician.