"Eating the Rainbow" - Written By Sarah Outlaw (Co-Owner of 90210 Organics) For Natural Life 101.com
By Sarah Outlaw
Food is exciting. Food is beautiful and even artful. It tantalizes the senses and brings people together in a way no other medium can. This is how food was meant to be; full of life, flavor, vitality, and rich color. Healthful foods are not bland and tasteless. They are invigorating, vibrant and are the key to sustaining life. One should love to eat, not act as if it is some chore to be gotten out of the way. Choosing the right foods is the only way to achieve optimal health. As Hippocrates, who is hailed as the "Father of Medicine" said, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food".
Use a beautiful rainbow as a guide for what to eat. Eating a rainbow variety of foods each day is one key to optimal health. The color of the food tells what nutrients are inside. White foods like onions, potatoes and cauliflower contain potassium, minerals and fiber. Red foods such as beets, red cabbage and tomatoes are full of Vitamin A and C, minerals and fiber. Orange is the color of squash, sweet potatoes and carrots and home to beta carotene (Vitamin A), fiber, potassium, iron and zinc. Two food colors not as appreciated by children are the greens and dark greens. These foods include broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, kale, green beans, zucchini and peas. Although not a youngster's favorite, these vegetables contain essential Vitamins A, C and some B vitamins, folic acid, fiber and some minerals. The dark, leafy green vegetables also contain calcium which is essential for bone health.
Choosing organic produce is always best because it is grown without the use of herbicides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers. If given the choice, however between organic produce that is from foreign country and local produce from a farmer's market, it may be prudent to choose the locally grown option.
One way to get children to love their vegetables and fruits is to take them to a farmer's market. They will marvel at the beautiful displays of color and readily pick out plenty of freshly harvested goodies to take home. When children learn where food comes from they are more likely to eat it. For a farmer's market near you, visit www.localharvest.org.
At the very least, one should be eating five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day. Some say that too many fruits for children can be problematic due to the natural sugars it contains. It is not too much of a concern, however because fruit is really as close to nature as one can get. Tummy issues can also arise so it is best to balance the intake of fruits with vegetables. For adults with hypoglycemia, eating too many fruits may lead to fluctuations in blood sugar. Again, balance is the key.
Juicing is the ultimate way to get the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Raw foods contain enzymes that are essential for digestion and proper assimilation of food. Processed, store-bought fruit and vegetable juices should be avoided, especially for children. Juicing also makes it easier to consume the necessary servings. Two leaves of kale, two apples, a handful of spinach, parsley and two stalks of celery can make a very flavorful, nutritious juice. Kids and adults alike enjoy juicing and can reap many health benefits from
making it part of the daily routine.
Adding a rainbow variety to one's diet will revitalize health and wellness and rekindle a natural love for food.