It's been over a year since my last blog post. Like everyone else going through the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself social distancing which impacted many of the events and occasions that I loved to blog about. During, this time I discovered a lot about myself and realized that the healthy life I thought I was living wasn't as optimal as I thought. I took the time to refresh my love of fitness and also incorporate wellness and nutrition. And that's how I discovered ROYGBIV eating.
You remember ROYGBIV, the clever little acronym that helped us remember the colors of the rainbow when we were in elementary school? Well, you can apply that same little acronym to your plate as a way to remember to eat healthy! There is a whole lifestyle called #eattherainbow and you don't have to be a nutritionist or dietician to figure it out. In general, the more color you have on your plate, the better the anti-inflammatory and healing effect on your body. Fruits and veggies make it super easy since they are as colorful as food comes. But how do you know which colors have which nutritional impact on your body? Let me break it down for you and share my color key (that is stuck to my refrigerator for quick reference).
Red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits, including sun protection, improved heart health and a lower risk of certain types of cancer. You can take it as a supplement, but why when you can find it in delicious tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon.
Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are found in orange foods. The body converts these to vitamin A and Carotenoids are antioxidants which studies have shown play a role in the prevention of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. As if you needed another reason to eat a delicious mango or enjoy some healthy sweet potato fries!
Beta cryptothanxin has absolutely nothing to do with Superman and everything to do with helping your cells talk to each other. It also may help to prevent heart disease so stock up on those yellow peppers, bananas and pineapples!
Green foods like spinach, avocado, broccoli, kiwi fruit and kale are rich in cancer-blocking chemicals like sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles, which help fight against cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. Green foods with a yellow tint contain carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin which help reduce age-related macular degeneration (See! what your mom said about eating carrots for your eyes wasn't a total old wives tale - she just had the wrong veggie!).
Blue and purple foods are the key to heart health! They contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that have been found to delay the aging of our body's cells and help the heart by blocking the formation of blood clots. Blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, purple grapes, raisins, eggplant, plums, figs, prunes, lavender, purple cabbage, beets - load up on your next trip to the grocery store or farmer's market.
If you are thinking, "Meech, this is old news" and you are already Eating the Rainbow, try the 20 Veggie Challenge where you eat 20 different vegetables per week! And let me know if you have any good ROYGBIV recipes to share.
ENJOY TASTING THE RAINBOW (not to be confused with eating Skittles)!