We all know eating healthy is important. Yet, so many of us fail to get enough of the right foods into our daily nutrition. One of my favorite ways to really bring this idea home is with color. There is a reason every nutritionist tells you to add a little more color to your daily nutrition. Did you know that each color of food produces different nutrients that your body needs? Not to mention the fact that certain colors tend to pop up more often during certain seasons. Well, there is a reason.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is almost void of all colors, which is really sad. In the US, time and ease seem to take priority over nutrients. Now, I totally get it, and I have even been there personally. When I was in school, I looked at food the same way the army does (a time-consuming necessity). Unfortunately, the result is typically fast food that is calorie-dense and nutrient deficient. More often than not, these foods tend to be yellowish, white, or brown. Nothing about them screams health or vibrance.
Putting In A Work Order
Your body relies on you to provide it with all the building materials it needs to break down and build up different areas of your body. When your body is starting to get a little low on some of the materials, it will put in a work order with you. These work orders often come in the form of cravings or as signs and symptoms on your body. While most people miss the subtle signs and symptoms that pop up on your body, we all identify cravings. Unfortunately, these cravings can be misinterpreted. For example, people who are craving chocolate are asking for more magnesium. So instead of eating a bunch of chocolate, grab a handful of nuts. Now here is the thing most people don’t know. The more sugar you consume, the more magnesium you push out of your body, making the problem worse.
While red foods are packed with heart health benefits orange foods take center stage for collagen production! That’s right if you are looking for foods that will have you looking your best for as long as possible these foods are a no-brainer. Another amazing benefit from orange-colored foods is the ability to help boost your immune system. There is a reason we see foods of this color come out in full force during the fall season when colds and flu are on the rise. Even mother nature wants to make sure we are getting everything our bodies need to be happy, healthy, and successful at everything we do.
What Is In It For You?
Orange foods contain powerful carotenoids such as Alpha-carotene, Beta-carotene, and Beta-cryptoxanthin. Carotenoids help boost your immune system, protect your vision, and prevent cancers. Orange foods are also high in Lutein which supports eye health and aids in the prevention of cancers. More importantly, orange foods contain high amounts of Vitamin C and Folate which boost your immune system, repairs DNA, improves red and white blood cell production, and convert carbohydrates into energy. Let’s break down some of the best options for red foods and all of the additional benefits they bring to the table!
Rich in vitamin A, carrots serve as a great detoxifying agent that removes toxins from the blood and delays aging, keeping you mentally and physically feeling younger. Vitamin A is also important for vision and can prevent night blindness. Carrots are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is the chief producer of collagen, a protein that makes up most of the body’s cells and is an active participant in the cell renewal process. Carrots are also an important vitamin K, vitamin B8, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. Vitamin K plays a huge role in regeneration by promoting blood clot formation. Folate is a primary component of DNA and is vital for the reproduction and renewal of cells of our body. Ions such as potassium, iron, copper, and manganese can also be found in carrots and are important for our body’s physiological processes, like maintaining normal blood pressure and respiration.
Loaded with so many amazing benefits, such as high antioxidants, remove free radicals throughout your body. They are high in fiber which helps improve digestion and aid in heart health. Peaches are great for your skin because they improve skin texture and help skin retain moisture. They are low in calories, high in vitamin A and C, which help improve the immune system and promote eye health. Peaches can also restore electrolyte imbalance and reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which can help lower blood pressure.
For those of you who have not guessed it by now, that is what makes pumpkin our seasonal hero. Not only does pumpkin pack a one-two punch of immunity strengthening and stress-reducing it is stuffed to the gills with tons of additional health benefits. Pumpkin contains high levels of vitamin A, C, E, and B5 which promotes skin renewal via cell regeneration, while also improving skin texture and evening skin tone. It has anti-aging properties and helps with the prevention of hair loss due to its high zinc content. Pumpkin has antimicrobial properties and also antiparasitic (kills intestinal worms). It has tranquilizer or sedative properties which make it beneficial for sleep regulation.
The health benefits that come from oranges have been shown to help not only reduce stress levels. They also can help improve your immune system. Due to its abundance of vitamin C and its natural diuretic ability, it is a great choice to help flush your system. Oranges contain vitamin B6, also known as the “mood vitamin” due to the fact that B6 acts in the brain to aid in the production of Serotonin which creates feelings of joy. Citrus fruits contain substances called limonoids that live in the bloodstream for up to 24 hours after consumption. Limonoids are cancer fighters, packed with antioxidants that help prevent the breaking down of cell DNA. They also contain polyphenols which are another antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation and fight viruses and other bacteria.
Contain high levels of fiber and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are rich in Iron needed for red blood cell development, Beta-carotene for your immune system, and Potassium to help regulate blood pressure. Not to mention they are also high in vitamins A and C which are critical for your immune system and Calcium to promote bone health.
Eat the rainbow daily. The more variety you have in your diet, the more likely you will get the variety of nutrients you need to thrive. Be creative. You do not have to follow any strict recipe for making colorful juice. You can add ingredients according to your taste. You may make it colorful by adding different ingredients. Add a little more color to your daily routine! Here are some recipes to help you do just that!
Rosemary Peach Chicken Dinner
Dairy Free Gluten Free Serves 4
- 1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Rosemary
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Mushrooms
- 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
- 2 Peaches Sliced
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 8 oz Vegan Mozzarella Torn
- Fresh Basil for garnish
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
- 1 Tbsp Garlic minced
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rub chicken all over with oil, rosemary, zest, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle flour evenly over the chicken and toss to coat; add more flour if needed to cover the chicken lightly.
Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and saute the mushrooms and garlic (use a little olive oil and salt). Add the chicken to the pan and sear both sides until golden brown (about 5 minutes per side). Add in the broth and 1/4 cup water. Simmer the chicken for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the mushrooms back in, peaches, mozzarella, and syrup over the top. Transfer the skillet to the oven to roast for 5 minutes and an additional minute on broil. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and rosemary. Enjoy!
Peach Cinnamon Rolls
Gluten Free Dairy Free Serves 12
- 2/3 Cup Warm Coconut Milk
- 1 1/4 Cup Cashew Yogurt
- 2 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast
- 3 Cups Coconut Flour
- 2 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 Cup Packed Brown Coconut Sugar
- 2 Cups Vegan Butter
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon Ground
- 2 Peaches Thinly Sliced
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the milk, yeast, syrup, 1 cup yogurt, flour, and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is fully incorporated (4-5 minutes). Add 4 Tbsp of room temp butter and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let sit at room temp for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Knead the dough and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface creating a large rectangle about 14X14 inches. Lay thin slices of butter over the surface pushing down gently to the surface. Fold the dough like an envelope wrap in cloth and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Butter bread pans (9X5 inch). Mix sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove dough from the freezer and roll back out into a 14X14 rectangle. Spread 4 Tbsp butter softened over the top. Sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar over half. Place peach slices over the end with sugar and top with more sugar. Next, gently roll the dough into a log keeping the filling in place (I add sugar as I roll). Pinch the edges to seal and cut into 6 rolls and place cut side up. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to the cooling rack to cool completely. Serve with vegan cream cheese icing over top.
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. We all have to deal with our health daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day, you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help, I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as acting as a sounding board, do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected], or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!