RAINBOW DIET FOR WINTERS
Come winters and along with, bloom fresh,colourful variety of foods available from the farm to the homes. This is one such time of the year when one is also tempted to indulge, and if not wary can leave you heavier at the end of the season! So how exactly can we make the best of the bounty of foods at our disposal and yet maintain a healthy fit body? Well, it’s not difficult at all, if we make a couple of good choices from the plethora of multi colour fruits and veggies available using the rainbow formula. Yes, just think the 7 colours of the rainbow and plan your day’s diet, and vow there you are with a completely balanced multi nutrient diet at your disposal!
Considering the seven colours,the options are many:
RED: the colour red denotes richness and warmth. Foods like tomatoes, red bell pepper, strawberry, cherries, red apples, beets, guavas etc.are the fruits abundant in winters. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the anti oxidant factor which provides immunity to the body and also known to be heart healthy besides reducing risk of cancer. To derive the full benefits of this nutrient it needs to be consumed in heated form like in tomato,gravies, soups and purees. It’s also rich in vitamin C which can be got by eating them raw like as salads and juices.
ORANGE: this is a blend of red with yellow and signifies activity, enthusiasm, optimism and confidence. Foods like oranges, papaya, peaches, carrots, apricots etc. are good sources of antioxidants and vitamin C which strengthen the immune system.
YELLOW: this colour also signifies warmth, illumination and life. Foods like banana, honey, corn, grape fruit, yellow zucchni are rich in photo chemicals which are needed for healthy function of the liver, gall bladder and pancreas.
GREEN: this colour signifies life, healing spirituality and freshness. Foods like all green leafy vegetables (spinach, asparagus, mint, mustard leaves, cauliflower leaves, broccoli, celery, peas, beans, lettuce and wheat grass. All these foods are a power hose of iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and calcium.
BLUE, INDIGO, VIOLET: these foods include blue berries, black berries, brinjal, purple cabbage, plums etc. contain pigments like anthocyanin, phytochemicals and flavonoids all of which reduce mortality and reduce risk of cancers
Apart from the rainbow colours white also is equally important which include functional foods like garlic and onions which contain the enzyme allinin which help fight high cholesterol and hypertension, besides preventing cancers and infection. Foods like banana and potatoes are also rich in potassium and flavinoids which are anti inflammatory too.
Another colour other than the rainbow spectra is the earth colour- Brown.
Although not part of the rainbow, one just cannot escape the various shades and hues of this neutral colour! Even if you were to have all the 7 colours, your meal would be incomplete without this one – the staple cereal base of any country. It could be the basic brown bread or the whole wheat chapati or the equally nutrient dense millets like the bajra and the Jowar. Legumes and pulses too can not be ignored as without these your protein and energy requirements would still not be complete! Therefore, a wise combo of the rainbow foods along with a healthy cereal and legume combo, you could be having one of the most healthy platter at your disposal.
Even if one consumes five of the seven colour foods, you are sure to maintain a healthy, disease free life.
However, a word of caution would be in place to warn you against the traditional high fat associated foods more often being a part of any good meal or snack. Inclusion of butter, cream or ghee in liberal amounts even with the rainbow foods can tilt the balance and undo all the goodness of these winter foods. So folks rake up your culinary skills and get the best of Nature’s bounty this winter!