What Color Is Your Diet? Review
How the What Color is Your Diet? Works
The idea is that colors don't just make food pretty. They are there because specific nutrients have specific colors. Each color group represents a family of nutritional compounds and the deeper, the more nutritious.
Here's the basic rundown of Heber's "Color Code" system:
Red. These foods are rich in lycopene, which reduces cancer risk by ridding the body of free radicals that can damage genes. Examples: tomatoes, watermelons, and pink grapefruit.
Red/Purple. These are loaded with anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that can help protect against heart disease. Examples: grapes, red wine, blueberries, strawberries, eggplant, and red apples.
Orange. These foods contain alpha- and beta-carotenes, thought to improve cell-to-cell communication, night vision, and slow cancer. Examples: carrots, mangoes, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.
Orange/Yellow. These foods contain vitamin C, which protects cells, and beta-cryptoxanthin, one of the many carotenoid compounds that Heber recommends. Examples: oranges, tangerines, papayas, and nectarines.
Yellow/Green. These foods are rich sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which contribute to eye health and reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Examples: spinach and other greens, yellow corn, green peas, and avocados.
Green. These foods contain sulforaphane, isothiocyanate, and indoles, which Heber says stimulate liver genes to make compounds that break down cancer-causing chemicals. Examples: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, and kale.
White/Green. These foods contain flavonoids that protect cell membranes. Examples: onions, garlic, celery, pears, white wine, endive, and chives.
What the Experts Say About What Color is Your Diet?
"When it comes to diet, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts," David R. Jacobs, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, told WebMD.
Food first is always the best approach, say experts.
"There may be nutrients in food that we don't even know about yet, and the effect of different nutrients working together may be better than each one working alone."
Experts agree that a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables should be part of everyone's diet. Produce are naturally low fat, high in fiber, and the natural chemicals that are responsible for the brilliant colors are disease-fighting nutrients that can protect against chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and more
And because fruits and vegetables are so healthy, more is better even if you don't reach the recommended seven servings.
Food For Thought
Most Americans would benefit from eating less beige/brown foods and incorporating more colorful fruits and vegetables into their diets.
Just by making a few small changes, you could lower your calorie intake, lose weight, and boost your defenses against chronic diseases.
For those intimidated by eating seven servings of vegetables and fruits a day, try starting slow and eat more than you usually consume. Add some blueberries or strawberries to your breakfast cereal. Choose a colorful salad as a side dish instead of fried potatoes or pasta at lunch or dinner. Layer sandwiches with tomatoes and greens. And speaking of salads, start with deep green and/or red lettuces and use your imagination to add colorful items such as grapes, berries, and orange slices. When fresh fruits and vegetables are not available, frozen is a great economical option.
Bottom line, we eat with our eyes and a colorful plate of food is much more appetizing than one filled with browns and beiges. Do yourself a favor and add more vibrant color into your diet.