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Cooking With Colorful Food, Increasing Health And Nutrition

Aug 31, 2009

Nature provides us with an abundance of colorful food, and cooking with colorful food will increase your food health nutrition.  You'll find that most colorful foods are fruits and vegetables - rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories.  Let's take a look at how we can use some of these colorful foods to enhance health and nutrition.

Blue and Purple Foods

Blue and purple foods include antioxidants that protect cells from damage. They may also help reduce risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Some blue and purple foods include:

  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • raisins
  • purple grapes
  • eggplant
  • plums
  • figs

Red Foods

Red foods contain lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of cancer. Examples of red foods are:

  • apples
  • beets
  • cranberries
  • red cabbage
  • pomegranates
  • strawberries 
  • tomatoes

Orange and Yellow Foods

Orange and yellow foods contain substances that help maintain healthy mucous membranes and eyes. They also can lower the risk of heart attack.  Some orange and yellow foods are:

  • yellow apples 
  • cantaloupe 
  • yellow squash 
  • tangerines 
  • sweet potatoes 
  • pumpkin 
  • peaches 
  • pineapple
  • mangos

Green Foods

Green foods contain lutein and indoles that protect eyes and also protect against cancer. Some common green foods are:

  • asparagus 
  • avocado 
  • lettuce 
  • broccoli 
  • zucchini 
  • cucumbers 
  • green peppers 
  • green grapes 
  • honeydew melon
  • limes

White Foods

White foods can protect against stomach cancer and heart disease and can help to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. Examples of white foods are:

  • bananas 
  • cauliflower 
  • ginger 
  • jicama 
  • onions 
  • mushrooms
  • potatoes 
  • garlic 
  • turnips

The best way to eat these foods is fresh and uncooked, but many of the vitamins and minerals can be retained by certain methods of cooking which include light steaming, grilling, roasting, and sauteing.  When steaming vegetables, it's best to boil the water first and then put the vegetables over the boiling water for about 5 minutes to retain the maximum amount of nutrients.  If you are so inclined, you can also save the water to use in soup stock or broth.

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