A natural way to healthy eating and nutrition
Colour Therapy has long recognised the strong health connection between the colours of food and their nutritional value but it is only in the last few years that the scientific establishment has come to support this theory. Recent research from the World cancer Fund and Better Health Foundation has divided natural food into colour groups and also harnessed the power of colour in its 'Five a day, the colour Way' campaign whereby people are encouraged to make sure they eat at least one food of each of the five colour groups each day.
Studies show that the colours of fruit and vegetables indicate their individual health-promoting benefits. So we can view the colour of plants and natural food as nature's own labelling system.Analysis of pigments reveals that colourful fruit and vegetables are not just visually appetising, but positively good for you because each colour is related to a different phyto-chemical that has particular health benefits. It is the colour pigments that are the real super nutrients and these are as important to our health as vitamins and minerals.
When you eat a diet rich in a variety of coloured fruit and vegetables it can help to reduce the risk of certain cancers and the 'five a day' recommendation is widely supported by National Governments, Health Authorities and the World Healing Organisation. It is a good idea to start following the 'Five a Day the color way' diet when you are young, and children really enjoy looking for all the colours on their plate. This will set up healthy eating habits for later in life and help educate their palette to the taste of a variety of foods.
When you eat food across the colour spectrum it will nourish you on all levels as long as the food is fresh and organic. Artifically coloured foods contain chemicals that often hides the fact that the food is not fresh. Chemical colourants have been found to give an allergic reaction to some people and there is growing evidence that these may contribute to hyper-activity in children. As long as the food is fresh and organic, the more colourful the food the better it is for you. For example, nutritional scientists have discovered that the deep green outside leaves of a lettuce or cabbage is more nutritious that the pale inside leaves and red wine rather than white contains contains more phyto-chemicals that have added health benefits.
Introducing a range of colours into your main meal each day is a quick and reliable way of making sure you have a balanced diet. It also makes shopping and cooking more fun because the colours in your food can encourage you to more creative and help stimulate the appetite - so cooking with colour can make eating more enjoyable. Children love colour too and you can encourage younsters to eat a greater variety of foods by looking for the different colours on their plate.
Whether you are looking for creative inspiration or to improve your health, cooking with colour is an enjoyable way to create appetising meals while enjoying optimum health benefits.
The Five Colour Food Groups:
White: potatoes, cauliflower, white beans, chicken, white fish, tofu (white bean curd), parsnips, organic brown rice, onions, freshly baked bread, cottage cheese
Red: red onions, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, radishes, tomatoes, shard, strawberries, cherries, red peppers, salmon.
Green: all green salad leaves, cucumber, spring onions, spinach, chinese leaves, green peppers, avocado, beans, peas, green lentils, kiwi fruit.
Orange/Yellow: cheese, melons, peaches, apricots, orange peppers, oranges, yams, bananas, nuts, corn, split peas.
Blue/Violet: blackberries, blueberries, passionfruit, raisins, dates, kombu seaweed, aubergine, red cabbage.
By Suzy Chiazzari B.Ed, Dip Col Th, MIAC, MCI
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