Saturday, June 5, 2010

Drink the Summer Rainbow

Good morning, everyone! I hope you've had a good week, and that your weekend is off to a great start! I know one way to get a good kick to your energy... c'mon you know what I'm gonna say... Smoothie!! :) (Do I sound like a broken record yet?)

I love Saturdays because they are Farmers' Market days here in my town! We have a humble little market with only about 8 farmers, and a few other entrepreneurs. You can also find soaps, lotions, baked goods, and crafts.

But before I restock my fridge with new produce from the market and the grocery store, I needed to make some room! So it was time to use up left over produce. I was surprised how much variety I still had! And it all looked so pretty! So this morning I did a rainbow smoothie. In produce, each color food carries its own health benefits - so get that variety!

So here's what I put in my smoothie:
Red: goji berries
Orange: peach
Yellow: pineapple and frozen mango
Green: kale and Romaine
Purple: strawberries and blackberries

Then I sprinkled in a few Tablespoons of flax seeds for some extra protein and omega oils.

Blend and enjoy!

This is a power-packed drink of fiber, vitamins and minerals, very alkaline and antioxidant rich... and a lot of great natural sugars to kick start the morning! It made a nice, thick, heavy smoothie - keeps me full for hours! (And keeps me skipping along as I browse the produce section at the store while being crowded among all the other Saturday morning shoppers.)

David Heber, MD, PhD wrote a book called What Color Is Your Diet? In it, he goes over the different colors and benefits.

White: Usually it is agreed that there is also the white color category - that would include things like onion, garlic, chives, and mushroom. Yeah... I didn't feel like putting that into my smoothie! I'm not that adventurous! Other white/green foods that I could have included, though, are celery and pears. These foods all contain flavonoids that protect your cell membranes.

Red: I talked about benefits a little bit in an earlier post during Valentine's Day. But, to refresh, bold red foods include tomatoes, watermelon, etc. Think bold bright, leaning more towards pink than purple. These foods are rich in lycopene, which helps fight cancer.

Darker Orange: carrots, sweet potato, and squash are great for the eyes! All the carotenoids help with night vision and are also great disease fighters.

Yellow-Orange: brighter colored oranges such as the orange fruit, nectarines, and papaya are phenomenal sources of Vitamin C - great for the immune system! Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, your body doesn't like to store it too much. So it's important to get vitamin C from food on a daily basis!

Yellow-Green: corn, spinach, avocado, and peas are part of this group. They are rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These components are now being linked with eye health and protection from macular degeneration!

Green: And the darker greens - kale, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage... these are such an important part of health. I've talked about it a little before, but these are rich in sulforaphane and help stimulate the liver, enhancing your body's natural detoxing and cleansing processes. They also contain isothicyanate and indoles, which help your body break down cancer-causing checmicals.

Purple: now you move into foods that are a darker red, such as grapes, berries, and eggplant. This color comes from anthocyanins that protect the heart.

So do like Skittles and taste (or drink!) the rainbow; but go for the natural, healthy rainbow instead of the sugary nutritionally-empty rainbow! ;-) You'll find that pot o' health in the end!


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