If you need to drop and few pounds and don”t know where to get started, stop counting calories and start counting colors. When it comes to losing weight, make sure your plate is piled high with a range of colorful fruit and vegetables. You”ll naturally create more balance and health-filled menus.
Why? Color not only brightens your mood — but also your diet. Load your plate with fruit and veggies like a box of crayons in colors such as red, yellow, orange, blue, purple, white and green and you”ll also be filling up on power packed phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals which combat disease, including cancer.
Go easy on the beige and brown foods such as pasta and starchy carbs. When there are too many of these drab colors on your plate, weight gain is almost certain. That’s because these beige foods often are high in calories and can leave you feeling hungry later. A cup of beige or brown beans can be over 200 calories….but a cup of red or green vegetables is under a hundred! Add fresh greens, deep purple-reds and bright yellow-orange to a meal, and water the nutrient content go up, while calories go down! Plus, you’ll get more enjoyment from eating when there’s a variety of colors and flavors on your plate.
According to Dr David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. and author of “What Color Is Your Diet” the key to designing your colorful diet is to choose from a range of different color groups:
Blue/purple fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of health-promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics. Choose from a range including blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, plums, and raisins. These assist in memory function.
The green group includes: broccoli; Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and Bok choi. These foods stimulate the genes in your liver to turn on the production of enzymes that break down the cancer-causing chemicals in the body.
The yellow/green group includes: green peas, avocado and honeydew melon. These promote eye health.
The yellow/orange group includes: carrots, mangoes, apricots, rock melon and pumpkin. These contain carotenoids (beta carotene is one), fierce antioxidants that help prevent cancer and assist to lower heart-attack risk.
The white group includes: bananas, white peaches, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and are helpful to maintain heart health.
The red group includes: tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon all of which contain lycopene. Lycopene is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The red/purple group includes: grapes, grape juice, prunes, cranberries, strawberries and red apples. These foods contain anthocyanins which have a beneficial effect on heart disease by inhibiting blood clot formation.