Today while I was making my salad I played a little game.  I wanted to see how many colors I could get in my salad.  Have you heard the saying “You should try to always eat a rainbow”? What the heck does that even mean you ask?????? Well what that means is that you want to eat as many different colors of foods because each one has specific and different health and nutrition benefits. Can you see why my salad became a little bit of a game today? Here is a quick breakdown for you so you can see what I am talking about.

Red: Very heart healthy and gives strength support to our joints! Lots of lycopene, which is associated with health benefits like protecting the skin from sun damage and decreasing the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer. They can also help to maintain and increase our memory.

Fun Fact-Did you know that the red bell pepper has twice the Vitamin C and nine times as much Vitamin A as their green ones?

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Orange: A great source of Vitamin C. The orange group helps keep our eyes healthy! Sweet potatoes have gobs of  beta-carotene and they are loaded with fiber. Dump the regular potato next time and try one of these because sweet potatoes have a gentler effect on blood sugar levels than those white guys. 

Fun Fact- Did you know most of the healing benefits in an orange actually come from the peel itself? Mike and I were just chatting about this the other day when we were discussing the benefits of essential oils. Next time you are making a fruit smoothie or better yet  a colorful salad take a zester out and shave a little on top.

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Yellow: Its hard to see the yellow text so I’m leaving it black lol) This group is good for our skin,  helps our digestive system and our joints/bones.  Many yellows contain bromelian which is a digestive enzyme.  You can find a lot of bromelian in pineapple and  in shakeology 🙂 Lots of yellow citrus fruits have Vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in our body’s production of collagen, which is the protein that forms the basic structure of your skin. Collagen breakdown can leave your skin saggy, and vitamin C will help tighten it back up:-) Bananas are loaded with potassium, which will helps us grow strong, durable bones

NOT so Fun Fact: Did you know they use yellow food coloring for things like sodas (Mountain Dew), energy drinks, corn chips, corn flakes, popcorn, pickles, egg noodles, ice cream, candy, pet food, baked goods, vitamins, shampoos and moisturizers? Doesn’t this just make you crazy? The horrid effects of food colorings is a whole different post and one I will do shortly. It is one of those things that really gets my blood boiling. STAY AWAY FROM IT!

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Green: Helps our entire body and strengthens our immune systems which means less colds and at this time of year who wants to give me a high five for that one?????? Green has so many benefits but I will just highlight a few of them for now. I already mentioned strengthing our immune system, then there is cancer prevention, improved blood circulation, blood purification, lowering cholesterol, promotion of healthy intestinal flora, increased energy, detoxification through improved liver, gall bladder functions, kidney function, and even clearing congestion. Man I could go on and on. I think this is why I love juicing. I just get giddy watching all those greens going in the juicer. 

Fun Fact: Lime oil is useful to cool fevers. It can also stimulate and refresh a tired mind and helps with depression

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Purple: Purple/blue foods are excellent for our whole body. Did you know that most purple foods contain something called anthocyanins? Research has shown that anthocyanins may have a preventive and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases.  I am still researching this so stay tuned but don’t worry there is still lots more love our purple friends can give us. (By the way anthocyanins are also found in red fruits and vegetables) The purple pigment in fruits and vegetables also contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure. Resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decreases the pressure in the arteries and allows better circulation.( I know your waiting for you to tell you this is why I drink wine right? 🙂 Produce with purple hues contain a variety of polyphenols that can reduce the inflammatory response in the body. I would say this is pretty powerful and certainly encourages me to pick up a plum next time I am at the farmers market. Just a side note that the blue and the purple fruits and vegetables are usually lumped in the same category.

Fun Fact: Did you know that  a long time ago blackberry juice was used to dye cloth navy blue and indigo.

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Now if this doesn’t enoucrage you to get creative with your next salad I am not sure what will. Here is a great list of all the different fruits and veggies you can enjoy listed by color. Enjoy.

Garden Salad
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PS:This was my yummy lunch today.

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