Do You Want to Boost Your Immune System? Eat a Rainbow!
Yes, you read it right! A rainbow-colored addition to your everyday diet will help you add flavors to your plate and immunity to your health.
Nutrition is crucial for health, particularly in times of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where the immune system is our only ally to fight the disease and avoid possible side effects. More than ever, we are being told that healthy eating is a preventive lifestyle that focuses on the choice and the amount of food we consume, and hence, draws a pathway to better immunity.
A Shift in the Mindset
Is it an open invitation to eat more? Not at all! It is a shift in the mindset where we shall eat less processed, nutrients-empty food and more natural, nutrients-loaded food.
You are probably thinking: “easier said than done”, but here is the fact: nowadays, choosing food for their specific nutritional benefits has outranked other eating trends such as organic, clean, lean, local and otherwise.
Consumers are changing their approach to food and beverage, and opting for alternatives that boost the well-being, relieve stress and promote relaxation.
Less Saves the Planet encourages you to join this new eating trend.
So, What is on the Plate?
The Mayo Clinic recommends that the darker the food you put on your plate, the richer in nutrients they are. Here is a bright spectrum of seven super food to enhance your eating habits:
Paprika for Red: According to Harvard Health Publishing, paprika breathes new life into tired dishes, because it is made from several ground red peppers. Paprika contains phytochemicals and antioxidants. It may decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as help alleviate gas, increase immunity, and decrease cancer cell survival.
The yummy tip: Try paprika on top of eggs or grilled shrimp, in tomato sauce or as a rub for meats.
Pumpkin for Orange: When you think of pumpkin, what comes first to your mind? Jack-o’-Lantern? Well, there is more to this one such fruit/veggie than just carved scary faces on Halloween. It is high in beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A to strengthen your immune system and fight infections. Pumpkin can ward off colds, as the seeds and pulp are rich in vitamin C, E, zinc, iron, omega-3 and fibers. Being very low in calories, pumpkin is the best weight-loss ally, especially for people fighting diabetes.
The yummy tip: Try pumpkin tossed in olive oil, salt and herbes de Provence, and gently oven-roasted until golden and tender.
Turmeric for Yellow: This golden spice is the King of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Not only it gives Asian food that bold color and smell that is so inviting, but also, it has tangible results in fighting diseases. Prof Martin Widschwendter, from University College, London, carried out a study and found out that the real power of turmeric is unleashed to the maximum when mixed with food, versus when taken in supplements. He explained that the biggest difference was evident on one particular gene involved in curing three specific diseases: depression, asthma and eczema, and cancer, and that it is really a striking finding.
The yummy tip: Try turmeric on vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, on brown rice or quinoa, or in chicken noodle soup.
Pistachio for Green: Tasty, healthy and fun to eat, pistachios are one of the most vitamin B6-rich foods around, responsible for several bodily functions, including blood sugar regulation and carrying oxygen to red blood cells. Pistachios are among the most antioxidant-rich nuts, high in lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which promote eye health. Compared to other nuts, they contain fewer calories, more protein and essential amino acids, which builds protein blocks.
The yummy tip: Try sprinkling pistachios on most ice-cream flavors and desserts.
Blueberries for Blue: Would you believe that the simple act of eating blueberries is one of the best things you can do for your cardiovascular health, insulin response, and brain health? This super food is not just delish. It is the perfect new “keeps the doctor away”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who suffer from obesity, elevated glucose, and decreased HDL cholesterol, show improved health changes when they consume fresh blueberries daily.
The yummy tip: Try adding blueberries to your pancake recipe and your smoothies.
Plums for Indigo: Plums are being heralded today as the new detoxifying super food because they have high levels of antioxidants as suggested by Dr. David Byrne, of AgriLife Research. They help fight anxiety, relieve constipation and improve bone health. Their sweet flesh help flattening the sugar cravings, allowing healthy and steady weight loss.
The yummy tip: Try pureeing a few plums to replace sugar in cake recipes. The result is just amazing.
Onions for Violet: The most beautiful of all onions! Red onions are full of sulfur compounds that protect the body from ulcers and various cancers, in addition to antioxidant agents. They also fight bacteria in the urinary tract. They are powerful in protecting against allergies and strengthen the lining of lungs and bronchial tubes from damage caused by pollution.
The yummy tip: Try adding slices of red onions to salads, and top them with a sweet and nuts-crunchy dressing.
This beautiful “rainbow” can be easily combined to any healthy eating lifestyle. Not only your plate will look fresh and appealing, but also, your skin will reflect a younger and glowing look.