Tell me if this sounds familiar…You’ve had a bad day. You load up on junk food to make yourself feel better. You feel worse. You eat more junk food to compensate. It makes you even crankier. Soon, the M&M bag, Cheez-it box, and ice cream carton are as empty as that hollow feeling deep in your soul.
Well, maybe it’s not that bad. (Usually.) But, it’s a very real fact that what we put into our bodies is a major determinate in how well we are able to function. God made these bodies fearfully and wonderfully and He also provided all the best foods to care for it. By eating foods as close to the source as possible, we respect the body God has given us. Eating a diet rich in fresh, colorful foods will help us feel better mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Eating From The Rainbow (A Bag of Skittles Doesn’t Count)
Different colored fresh foods offer their own unique health benefits. By eating as many different colored fresh foods during the day as possible, we provide ourselves with vitamins and minerals necessary to preserve our overall health.This week we’ll discuss the benefits of red and orange foods. Next week, we’ll look at yellow and green foods. The following week we will finish up the rainbow of healthy eating.
- Red fruits and vegetables (especially tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit) contain lycopene…a powerful antioxidant that can ward off certain types of cancer and prevent cell damage.
- Red bell peppers and strawberries have more vitamin C per serving than oranges.
- Red radishes and red apples can balance blood sugar levels, preventing sudden blood sugar drops or spikes.
- Red Potatoes are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6
- Raw or lightly cooked red cabbage can lower cholesterol and offer cancer preventative compounds.
- Raw beets have been shown to slow tumor growth and offer concentrated levels of lutein, a vitamin crucial in maintaining eye health.
- Cranberries, in addition to their well-known contribution to urinary health, is also a strong anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant source.
- Raspberries have antimicrobial (they fight bad bacteria in the body), and anti-inflammatory properties. Of all the berries, their health benefits are among the most concentrated.
- Apricots contain vitamin A, which benefits healthy vision. Apricots also contain beta-carotene, which helps protect good cholesterol.
- In addition to their famous levels of vitamin C, Oranges can lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Studies have also shown that a diet high in citrus can lower the risk of stomach and esophageal cancers.
- Carrots have a reputation for preserving vision (one serving contains almost 700% of the daily value of vitamin A, a crucial vitamin in vision health). Carrots also boast anti-cancer properties, as well as lower blood sugar and tame insulin resistance.
- One serving of cantaloupe contains over 100% of the daily value of vitamins A and C. It is also a good source of fiber, potassium, and several B-vitamins.
- Peaches are high in fiber and vitamin C
- Winter squash boasts high levels of vitamin A and other key antioxidants in promoting overall health.
- Sweet potatoes offer high levels of vitamin A, as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Sweet potatoes also help maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Not only are many of these foods delicious, but they all offer key components of healthy, well-balanced living. Food that balances our mind allows us to live joyfully, and be grateful for the delicious goods God created for us to enjoy.