A Rainbow Plate of Plant Foods Can Reduce Your Obesity Risk
We all know that fruits and veggies are good for us. And you’ve probably heard that variety is important to a healthy diet too. But do you know why? Well, a growing body of evidence points to a strong association between eating a wide range of different colored fruits and veggies, and (among other health benefits) weight loss!
Interestingly enough, the amount of calories you eat is not the only determinant of your ability to lose weight. Rather, the type and quality of those calories count. Those who eat a diet rich in phytonutrients (plant chemicals) seem to be able to maintain a healthy weight more easily, while those eating a typical standard American diet heavy in processed packaged food, soda, fried foods, and sugar, have a much harder time maintaining a healthy weight.
Calorie for calorie, the equation does not come out equally. Calories originating from plant foods confer benefit to the body due to their high levels of anti-oxidants, trace minerals and other beneficial compounds that help to heal and support the body’s natural processes. And according to the research, the greater the variety of color, the greater the benefit!
I would call these types of calories coming from fresh, local veggies “nutrient-dense”.
Calories coming from your typical diet of processed food might be termed “nutrient-void”. They simply don’t offer the body any nutritional potential, and therefore are not able to confer any healing benefit to the body. In fact, they detract from the body’s natural store of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, etc. as the body will use some of its natural store to digest the “nutrient-void” foods.
Want to add more color to your diet?
It’s simple. You don’t need to worry about getting X amount of beta-carotene, or Y amount of lycopene or Z amount of glucosinolates. Simply eat a “rainbow plate” of foods. If you can look down at your plate at mealtime, and see a variety of different colors on it, you are on the right track.
After a time, your desires will shift till you find yourself in the place of really craving these foods. A comment from a client I was working with to add local, healthy, colorful food to her diet, confirms this: “The only time I feel deprived now”, she said, “is if I look at my plate and there are only one or two colors on it.”
Start to shift you mentality similarly. Take that first step to consciously incorporate a wider variety and color of plant foods into your diet, and your body and waistline will notice the difference.
For more resources to help you introduce these healthy foods into your diet, please check out the RECIPES page of this website.
Or, try this simple colorful Springtime Cleansing salad below:
Beet and Orange Salad with Chives
A light but effective blood builder.
3 larges cooked whole beets, thickly sliced
2 large oranges, peeled, sliced with pith removed
1 bunch fresh chives
3 tbsp favorite salad dressing
Arrange alternate slices of beet and orange on one large platter or four plates. Scatter the whole chives over the top. Drizzle with dressing and serve. For extra color, serve on top of mesclun mix or other colorful springtime lettuce mix that incorporates, light greens, dark greens and reds. Enjoy!