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10 Reasons to Eat Colorful Foods Slideshow

10 Reasons to Eat Colorful Foods Slideshow

1. Trim Out the Fat

Appropriately called the Rainbow Diet, eating a variety of colorful foods will help increase weight loss. It's more than just the obvious fact that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you — it is the combination of each of these colorful foods that helps you shed the pounds. The more nutrient rich your diet is, the more your metabolism is sped up to work toward a healthier you. Orange-colored foods in particular are great for weight loss, mostly because they promote detoxification in the body. As toxins leave the body, the weight tends to follow.

2. Flava-Whosa-Whatsit?

When we say flavonoids, please resist the urge to say gesundheit! Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in the skin of fruits and vegetables — particularly in the blue family. Their benefits reach across a spectrum of health topics, with the power to combat aging and even assist in warding off some cancers. They hypothetically inhibit inflammation and tumor growth and increase detoxifying enzymes. Eating a large amount of colorful foods with effectively expose you to the abundance of flavonoids your body needs to get to a healthy state.

3. Go with the Flow

No longer is “getting the blues” considered to be a bad thing. Dark indigo and blue foods like blueberries, plums, and Concord grapes can actually help improve your circulation. Blue foods contain water-soluble vitamins, which strengthen tiny blood vessels. You'll notice a significant difference in the time it takes for bruises to heal, as well as get relief for your swollen feet and ankles if you add more blue foods to your diet. Blue foods are best consumed in the evening after a particularly fattening meal, when your body becomes more sluggish and blood flow weakens. They are also said to improve your voice and assist in organs in and around the neck. Plus, as part of the flavonoid family, they even help with memory loss, too!

4. Pro-Protein

In the color spectrum, white is actually defined as a lack of color but when it comes to the food pyramid, white is as valuable as ever! To keep our immune system functioning properly and producing enzymes, our bodies need protein. Foods like poached chicken, seafood, reduced-fat cheeses, eggs, and tofu provide this important energy source.

5. The Energizer

Say goodbye to those horrible energy drinks. A low energy level effects more than your productivity during the day — it can cause a poor memory, lack of concentration, tension, irritability, and digestive problems. Adding a little yellow to your diet may combat these complications. Yellow-colored foods like bananas, lemons, and even rice contain anti-oxidizing sun energy and are high in vitamin C to naturally increase the body's energy levels. Keeping more active will eventually lead to measurable weight loss since your body will contain the energy levels needed to keep moving and drop the pounds.

6. Seeing Is Believing

Familiar with the old wives' tale that eating your carrots will help your eyesight? It's true! Ok, maybe not directly, but eating carrots does put you on the right track. Foods that are the color orange contain a high count of beta-carotene. The antioxidant is converted to vitamin A to boost eye health and it even improves night vision!

7. Cancer, Begone!

The coolest thing about the food rainbow is that almost every color you ingest has cancer-fighting properties. Anthoxanthins that are found in white foods can reduce the risk of stomach cancer, foods with red pigments can help combat prostate cancer because of a specific pigment called lycopene, carotenoids in orange-colored foods are antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer, and green foods combate cancer as well. But don't just munch on one color alone. Be sure to take in a medley of colors to increase your chance of reducing your cancer risk. With their powers combined they represent a healthful dosage of phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring plant chemicals.

8. Boost Your Immune System

With winter colds waiting to sneak up on us just in time for the holidays, a healthy immune system from colorful foods is like a gift from the garden. Rainbow foods get their pigments from those powerful phytochemicals that help reduce the risk of cancers. These naturally occurring chemicals have disease-preventative and protective properties to beef up a weakened immune system. Studies show that carotenoids in yellow, orange, and green foods stimulate the human immune system's T-cells, which help kill bacteria and viruses. If you're trying to avoid a season curled up in bed, grab some whole fruits or veggies before you head out the door.

9. Silky Smooth Skin

Istock/vitcom

What's more effective then piling on the products? Eat your way to healthy skin and get a glow from the rainbow of foods at your disposal. Damaging sunrays are warded off by the powerful antioxidant in red-colored foods, lycopene; and beta-carotene and vitamin C in orange foods delay the appearance of wrinkles by protecting the skins' natural collagen. Plus, recent studies show that eating a variety of colored veggies and fruits can give you a healthy looking, natural tan through the consumption of carotenoids.

10. Healthier Bones

While milk still does the body (and bones) good, an intake of vitamin D is not enough to keep your body's structure strong. At the tender age of 30, the body stops building bone mass, so what you have needs protection. Plant pigments that are brightly colored actually help bone density and prevent osteoporosis. While carotenoids are helpful in the promotion of healthy bones, green foods like broccoli and collard greens contain high amounts of calcium that help, too!


10 Gourmet Veggie Burger Recipes Everyone Will Love

This burger is pretty much all vegetable. Kitchen Treaty's Karen Raye slices a head of cauliflower into "steaks" then grills each, adds a topping of melted provolone, Dijon mustard and a bit of mayonnaise, and a handful of onions and arugula before placing inside a Ciabatta bun. No fuss, but delicious!


5 Reasons to Eat Colorful Foods

There are lots of reasons to load up on deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables, but for me, the best reason is that it makes me happy. We feel invigorated and energized just looking at brightly colored meals—not to mention all the health benefits our bodies get from eating them.

Consider this the food version of tucking away your black winter sweaters and dull wool coats and pulling out your bright sundresses and fun tops: We all look better and shine brighter with a pop of color, even in our meals.

Here are my five favorite reasons to add more color to your plate:

1. Color > Carbs (or Calories)

Counting carbs, weighing food and tracking calories can be effective—but they're surefire ways to suck the joy and fun out of meals. The act of measuring and counting reinforces the beliefs that health is hard, nutrition is complicated and nutritional experts know more about our bodies than we do. (They don't. You can be your own nutritionist).

Healthy foods are colorful foods. Think about it: Black wild rice and brown rice are healthier than white rice orange sweet potatoes are filled with more phytonutrients than white russets dark green spinach is better for us than nearly-white iceberg lettuce freshly spiralized green zucchini noodles are more nutritious than white fettuccini noodles. When you choose your foods based on color, making healthy choices is as easy as stocking your fridge with the vibrant colors of the rainbow.

Idea: Swap plain toast fortoast with gorgeous (delicious!) green avocados and sliced red tomatoes.

2. Color Crowds Out Clutter

I don't believe in deprivation (that's why this blog is called Kale & Chocolate!) but the reality is, we have limited space on our plates and in our stomachs. When we add more color to our meals, there is less room for the not-so-healthy, colorless clutter.

Rather than telling yourself that you can never eat pasta again, what if you made yourself a big green salad and tossed your pasta with colorful grilled vegetables? You'd need a lot less pasta to feel satisfied, your plate would be filled with nutritious, colorful foods … and you'd still get to eat the pasta that you love.

Idea: Swap plain hummus and pita bread for an orange-huedspiced, roasted carrot hummus and a rainbow of chopped veggies.

3. More Color = More Micronutrients

I'm fascinated by the science of healthy eating it's one of the reasons I studied plant-based nutrition at Cornell. When we eat colorful foods, we consume more micronutrients (the vitamins and minerals that are vital to development, disease prevention and well-being).

If you want to make sure you're getting sufficient micronutrients, but you're not particularly interested in reading labels or researching which foods are high in which vitamins and minerals, simply add a variety of deeply pigmented produce to your plate. When you eat all the hues of the rainbow, you're naturally eating a micronutrient-rich diet. It's that easy.

Idea: Swap protein powder and milk for leafy greens and plant-based milk to make abeautifulgreen smoothie bowl with fun (and colorful) toppings.

4. Food Love is Self-Love

Think back to those two breakfasts I described above: the plain, beige oatmeal and the gorgeous, colorful and nutrient-dense PB&J Oats. Which meal felt most like love? Color brings warmth and comfort to the plate and you can be the person who shows yourself love by preparing beautiful, colorful meals.

Idea: Swap a plain rice and bean bowl for a deliciousbowl filled with bright yellow turmeric cauliflower, leafy greens, juicy red tomatoes and, even darker red, dried cherries.

5. No Season is More Colorful Than Summer

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, more and more amazing foods appear at the farmers market: Spears of tender asparagus, creamy avocados, red beets, green broccoli and gorgeous strawberries are coming into season, depending on where you live. There is no better (or easier … or more delicious) time to add color to your meals.

Idea: Swap a plain, colorless Caesar salad for a vibrant and nutrient-densesuperfood salad that is splattered with a variety of hues and textures.

Putting the colors of the rainbow on your plate is one of the simplest, prettiest ways to enrich and enliven your diet. To make it even easier for you, I'll be giving away awesome, helpful tools and prizes all month long on Instagram. Follow me @kaleandchocolate and share your colorful creations with the hashtag #12tinychanges.

Originally published on Kale & Chocolate. Elise Museles is a board member at Environmental Working Group and a certified nutritionist.


Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables Improve Immune Function, Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Promote Eye Health, and More

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth.

Citrus fruits contain a unique phytonutrient called hesperidin, which helps to increase blood flow. This has important health ramifications. If you tend to get cold hands and feet, eating an orange a day may help keep your hands and feet warm. More importantly, consuming citrus may also reduce your risk of stroke.

Examples of Healthy Orange and Yellow Foods to Try

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash (butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn)
  • Yellow summer squash
  • Corn
  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange and yellow peppers
  • Golden beets
  • Pineapple
  • Peaches

4. Egg Whites on Toast

Egg yolks contain valuable nutrients including choline, vitamin D and phosphorus, but opting for only the whites lowers the overall calorie content from 72 calories to 17, and it also lowers overall fat and cholesterol intake. For a light, sumptuous and energizing breakfast, Erik Bustillo, a registered dietitian in Miami, Florida, recommends serving egg whites sautéed in a small amount of coconut oil on whole-grain bread, topped with a slice of Swiss cheese for added calcium and flavor. Or you can also try using one whole egg and one to three egg whites instead. To make it even more satisfying and nutritious, add vitamin D-rich mushrooms or avocado, which is packed with healthy fats.

Recipe & Nutritional Info: Egg Whites on Toast

Egg yolks contain valuable nutrients including choline, vitamin D and phosphorus, but opting for only the whites lowers the overall calorie content from 72 calories to 17, and it also lowers overall fat and cholesterol intake. For a light, sumptuous and energizing breakfast, Erik Bustillo, a registered dietitian in Miami, Florida, recommends serving egg whites sautéed in a small amount of coconut oil on whole-grain bread, topped with a slice of Swiss cheese for added calcium and flavor. Or you can also try using one whole egg and one to three egg whites instead. To make it even more satisfying and nutritious, add vitamin D-rich mushrooms or avocado, which is packed with healthy fats.

Recipe & Nutritional Info: Egg Whites on Toast


5. High-Fat Dairy

Fat-free and low-fat dairy products have been the major type of dairy recommended by health professionals for decades. The thought is that cutting back on saturated fat from dairy is better for your heart and, possibly, your waistline. However, research is showing that full-fat dairy may offer health benefits too. "I call organic whole milk the perfect food. It's full of omega-3 fats, carbohydrates, protein, all the electrolytes I need for a hard-earned workout and calcium and vitamin D for strong bones," says Jim White, RD, ACSM HFI and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A recent study showed that middle-age men who consumed high-fat milk, butter and cream were significantly less likely to become obese over a period of 12 years compared with men who never or rarely ate high-fat dairy. "Also, it goes with everything! I put it in my oatmeal, add it to my favorite smoothies and use it in my cereal," adds White.

Fat-free and low-fat dairy products have been the major type of dairy recommended by health professionals for decades. The thought is that cutting back on saturated fat from dairy is better for your heart and, possibly, your waistline. However, research is showing that full-fat dairy may offer health benefits too. "I call organic whole milk the perfect food. It's full of omega-3 fats, carbohydrates, protein, all the electrolytes I need for a hard-earned workout and calcium and vitamin D for strong bones," says Jim White, RD, ACSM HFI and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A recent study showed that middle-age men who consumed high-fat milk, butter and cream were significantly less likely to become obese over a period of 12 years compared with men who never or rarely ate high-fat dairy. "Also, it goes with everything! I put it in my oatmeal, add it to my favorite smoothies and use it in my cereal," adds White.


Pastechi

Located less than 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Curacao counts South American cooking among its culinary influences. When you stop at a batidos truck for a mango or soursop shake (skip the milk and sugar for a bright burst of natural sweetness), check out the rest of the menu chances are good you’ll see a few types of pastechi listed.

The savory, crescent-shaped, fried or baked pastry is similar to an empanada, though the dough is usually lighter. Common fillings for this handheld breakfast or snack include Gouda cheese or ground meat.


Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Pigs

Attention, shoppers: Stop picking up dead “Babes” and “Wilburs” at the grocery store! Here are our top 10 reasons to keep pork off your fork and put delicious Babe-free alternatives on your shopping list instead.

1. Porking You Up
It’s a fact—ham, sausage, and bacon strips will go right to your hips. Eating pork products, which are loaded with artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat, is a good way to increase your waistline and increase your chances of developing deadly diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and impotence. Research has shown that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and they have 40 percent of the cancer rate of meat-eaters. Plus, meat-eaters are nine times more likely to be obese than pure vegetarians are.

2. Pigs Have Feelings Too
Ninety-seven percent of pigs in the United States today are raised in factory farms, where they will never run across sprawling pastures, bask in the sun, breathe fresh air, or do anything else that comes naturally to them. Crowded into warehouses with nothing to do and nowhere to go, they are kept on a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive and make them grow faster, but the drugs cause many of the animals to become crippled under their own bulk.

3. Pigs and Playstations

Think that you can outplay a pig on your Playstation? You may be surprised. According to research, pigs are much smarter than dogs, and they even do better at video games than some primates. In fact, pigs are extremely clever animals who form complex social networks and have excellent memories. Eating a pig is like eating your dog! As actor Cameron Diaz put it after hearing that pigs have the mental capacity of a 3-year-old human: “[Eating bacon is] like eating my niece!”

Learn more fascinating facts and read inspiring stories about pigs and other animals in the bestselling book Animalkind.

4. Pigs Prefer Mud, Not Crud
Pigs are actually very clean animals. If they are given sufficient space, pigs are careful not to soil the areas where they sleep or eat. And forget the silly saying “sweating like a pig”—pigs can’t even sweat! That’s why they bathe in water or mud to cool off. But in factory farms, they’re forced to live in their own feces and vomit and even amid the corpses of other pigs. Conditions are so filthy that at any given time, more than one-quarter of pigs suffer from mange—think of your worst case of poison ivy, and imagine having to suffer from it for the rest of your life.

5. Farming Family Values
Factory farms are pure hell for pigs and their babies. Mother pigs spend most of their lives in tiny “gestation” crates, which are so small that the animals are unable to turn around or even lie down comfortably. They are repeatedly impregnated until they are slaughtered. Piglets, who are taken away from their distraught mothers after just a few weeks, have their tails chopped off, their teeth are clipped off with pliers, and the males are castrated—all without painkillers.

6. The Manure Is Blowing in the Wind …
A pig farm with 5,000 animals produces as much fecal waste as a city of 50,000 people. In 1995, 25 million gallons of putrid hog urine and feces spilled into a North Carolina river, immediately killing between 10 and 14 million fish. To get around water pollution limits, factory farms will frequently take the tons of urine and feces that are stored in cesspools and turn them into liquid waste that they spray into the air. This manure-filled mist is carried away by the wind and inhaled by the people who live nearby.

FreeImages.com/Griszka Niewiadomski

7. Bacteria-Laden Bacon and Harmful Ham
Extremely crowded conditions, poor ventilation, and filth in factory farms cause such rampant disease in pigs that 70 percent of them have pneumonia by the time they’re sent to the slaughterhouse. In order to keep pigs alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them and to promote unnaturally fast growth, the industry keeps pigs on a steady diet of the antibiotics that we depend on to treat human illnesses. This overuse of antibiotics has led to the development of “superbacteria,” or antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. The ham, bacon, and sausage that you’re eating may make the drugs that your doctor prescribes the next time you get sick completely ineffective.

8. Hell on Wheels
More than 170,000 pigs die in transport each year, and more than 420,000 are crippled by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse. Transport trucks, which carry pigs hundreds of miles through all weather extremes with no food or water, regularly flip over, throwing injured and dying animals onto the road. These terrified and injured animals are rarely offered veterinary care, and most languish in pain for hours some even bleed to death on the side of the road. After an accident in April 2005, Smithfield spokesperson Jerry Hostetter told one reporter, “I hate to admit it, but it happens all the time.”

9. Killing Them Without Kindness
A typical slaughterhouse kills up to 1,100 pigs every hour, which makes it impossible for them to be given humane, painless deaths. The U.S. Department of Agriculture documented 14 humane slaughter violations at one processing plant, where inspectors found hogs who “were walking and squealing after being stunned [with a stun gun] as many as four times.” Because of improper stunning methods and extremely fast line speeds, many pigs are still alive when they are dumped into scalding-hot hair-removal tanks—they literally drown in scalding-hot water.

10. Ditch the Bacon and Get Fakin’
Save pigs from hell and yourself from bad health by feasting on faux pork products instead. Stuff a sandwich full of Yves brand veggie ham slices, or throw some Lightlife Smart Bacon into a sizzling skillet—the freezer and “health food” sections of your local grocery or health food stores are packed full of these and other tasty substitutes.

Think before you eat another sausage link—order a free vegan starter kit full of delicious recipes and celebrity features today!


Here are more reasons why you shouldn’t eat salmon:

1. Salmon Are Smart

Fish are smart. Oxford University scientist Dr. Theresa Burt de Perera recently discovered that fish learn even faster than dogs. Fish learn from each other, have long-term memories, and can recognize one another. They gather information by eavesdropping, and some species even use tools, which, until recently, was thought to be a uniquely human trait. Like the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes, they also like to play, investigate new things, and hang out with friends.

2. Arsenic and Old Waste

Mmmm, want a plate full of poison? Fish have extremely high levels of chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, PCBs, DDT, dioxins, and lead in their flesh and fat. You may even get industrial-strength fire retardant with that catch of the day. The chemical residue found in salmon flesh can be as much as 9 million times that of the water in which they live.

3. Harm at the Farm

Four-fifths of the United States’ most popular fish flesh, salmon, consumed in the U.S. is farm-raised. These fish, who are raised by the millions in cages made of nets in coastal waters, are killing off wild fish populations as well, since it takes 5 pounds of commercially caught fish (species not eaten by humans) to produce 1 pound of farmed fish.

4. Sea Lice Aren’t So Nice

No one wants to wear a “death crown,” but thanks to chronic sea lice, a parasite that eats down to the bones on a fish’s face, salmon commonly suffer this condition. Salmon also routinely go insane and sustain sores and other injuries from intense crowding, as they are made to live their entire lives with as many as 27 fish in a space the size of a bathtub.

5. Slammin’ Salmon

No, we’re not talking about a baseball player-but fish farmers do often use bats to beat large salmon to death. All methods used to slaughter fish are grotesque and cruel. Fish have their gills slit while they are still alive, and smaller salmon are often packed in ice and left to slowly suffocate or freeze to death.

6. Open Waters Are Open Sewers

Everybody loves the Big Apple, but would you eat something fished out of the city’s sewer system? According to the Norwegian government, the salmon and trout farms in Norway alone produce roughly the same amount of sewage as New York City. The massive amount of raw sewage, dead fish corpses, and antibiotic-laden fish food sludge settling below farmed salmon cages can actually cause the ocean floor to rot, destroying vital habitat for the already strained marine ecosystem and turning coastal waters into open sewers.

7. Breeding Brain Damage

Usually when Moms pass things on to their children, it’s a good thing-but when pregnant or nursing moms eat fish, they pass the toxins they consume on to their babies. Studies have also shown that children born to mothers who eat fish are slower to talk, walk, and develop fine motor skills and have weaker memories and shorter attention spans. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that fish consumption can cause irreversible impairment to brain function in children, both in the womb and as they grow.

8. Don’t Forget About the PCBs

Feeling forgetful? There could be something fishy going on. Scientists have proved that people who eat only two servings of fish a month have difficulty recalling information that they learned just 30 minutes earlier. The culprit is high levels of mercury, lead, and PCBs in their blood. PCBs, synthetic chemicals polluting water and concentrated in fish flesh, act like hormones, wreaking havoc on the nervous system and contributing to a variety of illnesses beyond forgetfulness and vertigo, including cancer, infertility, and other sexual problems.

9. For Your Health

Would you like tartar sauce with those cancer-causing toxins? If you’re feeling green around the gills, salmon could be making you seriously ill. The Environmental Working Group estimates that 800,000 people in the U.S. face an excess lifetime cancer risk from eating farmed salmon. Plus, salmon flesh contains high amounts of artery-clogging cholesterol and fat.

10. Fish-Free Fish

Tempt your taste buds without harming salmon by choosing vegan seafood instead. These options are becoming increasingly easy to find in your local grocery stores and from online vegan retailers, and they pack tons of flavor without any of the cruelty, contaminants, or cholesterol. There are even plenty of delicious vegan salmon recipes out there, along with innovative new products like Vegan ZeaStar’s Zalmon Sashimi.

If you’re fishing for a way to help animals while having a positive impact on the environment and your own personal health, going vegan is the best thing you can do. Order a free vegan starter kit and we’ll send you great-tasting recipes, nutrition information, and everything else that you’ll need to make a change: