We are starting off this rainbow food series with the colors RED and ORANGE!
To summarize from the last post, dining on a full assortment of rainbow food is not only fun and pleasing to our eyes, but it's nature’s way of giving us multivitamins, minerals, and other awesome nutrients such as phytochemicals. Phytochemicals (aka phytonutrients) are compounds found only in plant foods. Phytochemicals have been found to produce antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are enzymes that prevent free radicals from damaging our cells (oxidation). Oxidation causes tissue damage, which can turn into diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, just to name a few.
Today we'll learn about what specific nutrients are correlated with red and orange foods. In addition, you'll learn some delicious red and orange recipes :) Let's dig in!
Red is such an amazing color that easily grabs our attention. That's why YouTube, Netflix, Gmail, Pinterest, Redfin and other companies choose red as their color. Let's talk about food, though!
One important and well known phytochemical is lycopene. Excellent sources include tomatoes, watermelon, and bell peppers. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to fight breast, prostate, and uterine cancer. This nutrient also helps relieve oxidative stress (damage) in bones, that would otherwise cause weak and brittle bones.
Capsaicin is another phytochemical. Who likes anything spicy?!!! For those who enjoy some heat, dig in to the delicious nature of spicy foods. Sources include any spicy hot pepper (not red bell peppers, though). Capsaicin provides pain relief and may help manage diabetes. It also helps burn some calories! So spice up your life and add a pop of flavor to your foods. Did you know that the native Americans rubbed their gums with hot peppers to relieve toothaches? Nifty idea, huh?!
Apart from antioxidant properties, essential vitamins and minerals are present in red foods as well. For example, kidney beans have fiber, calcium and iron. Red peppers contain vitamin C. Red potatoes also have vitamin C and minerals such as magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and potassium. It is important to eat the skins, too. Eat that fiber, ya hear and keep yourself regular ;)
-1/2 large watermelon
- handful of mint leaves
Blend ingredients until smooth. It is sweet, hydrating, and so refreshing!
Tip: place watermelon in the refrigerator before blending so that you can drink it cold ;)
4 red-skinned potatoes
handful of parsley
1/2 red pepper
1 small red chili pepper
1 can kidney beans (no sodium)
pink himalayan salt to taste
spices: chili and cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes
1. Chop red potatoes into big chunks and steam for ~25 minutes or until cooked. Toss with 1 tb of parsley, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 red chilli pepper coins
2. Chop tomatoes, red pepper and parsley and mix with juice of 1/2 lime, and dash of salt
3. Rinse beans and heat them over medium with 3/4-1 c water. Add chili and cayenne pepper (about 1/2 tsp each). Simmer for 20-25 minutes
To assemble: plate beans, red salsa, and red potato mix. Top with sliced radish and slice of lime. Makes 2 servings.
So many nutrients in orange!! Its a fun and bright color. This color is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Let's dig into what goodies the foods below provide us with.
Curcumin! Sources include tumeric, which has powerful medical properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. By reducing inflammation, you can prevent age-related diseases.
Alpha-Carotene. Sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash and cantaloupe. Our bodies can convert this nutrient into vitamin A, which is important for the maintenance of healthy skin and bones, and vision.
Beta-Carontene. Not only do oranges and tangerines have vitamin C and folate, but it also is a good source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which the body also converts to vitamin A.
Red lentils are an excellent source of fiber, iron, protein, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-9 (aka folate), thiamin and pantothenic acid. Folate, for example, is used by our body to synthesize red blood cells and aids in energy metabolism.
-1 sweet potato
-thumb of ginger
Place ingredients in a juicer, and that's it!
1/2 c brown rice
1/4 c diced onion
1 c water + 3-4 tbs
dice 1/4 c orange bell pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 c red lentils
1 c water
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic
pinch of salt
1 small butternut squash halved
1 large sweet potato diced
1 tsp of garam masala (or any spice that you love to use)
Rice: "Sauté" or cook onion with a splash of water until onion is translucent. Add the rice and the water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add pepper and salt. Simmer until cooked.
Lentils: Add all ingredients into a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until cooked.
Veggies: Steam sweet potatoes and squash with garam masala. The last 10 minutes, add carrots so that they maintain their crunch and aren't wilted. No one likes a wilted carrot, if you know what I mean?! lol!
To assemble: place all sides on a plate. Top with some raw carrot coins. Enjoy!
Hope you guys liked this post! Let me know if you try any of these recipes :) Love yourself and feed your body nothing but the best. Have fun making your food nutritious and artfully delicious!
Next post we'll learn about yellow and green foods!
much love and peace,