I love to have a colourful plate. And I’ve always found dinners that are majority beige just don’t float my boat. Life should be bright and colourful and inviting as should your food. But it turns out there’s some science behind it as well.
You see, I had always just assumed it was partly my upbringing (mum’s a colourful dinner plate person as well) and partly just that lots of colours looks prettier. Seriously, you know when you’re making kebabs? I literally can’t have two things of the same colour next to each other. So if I was using cherry tomatoes and red peppers, they would be banned from appearing next to each other on the kebab stick. It’s very important. But apparently there’s a reason why lots of colours on a plate are appealing to us and it’s because the colours indicate the types of vitamins and minerals we’re likely to get from those foods.
Green foods, orange foods, red foods, even beige. They all have different nutritional makeups and we need all of them.
Here’s a synopsis:
Contain anthocyanins, which are good for your heart, prevent clotting and could also prevent cancer and lower blood pressure.
Contain isothiocyanates, vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, as well as carotenoids, omega-3 fatty acids and sulforaphane, which have anticancer properties.
Contain lutein and vitamin C, which are good for eye health and the immune system.
Contain lycopene, vitamin C and folate, which have been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers.
Contain beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin C, beta-carotene, Beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, which are great for eye health and immune function.
As I’ve been eating on the Autoimmune Protocol diet, I’ve realised that although I’ve been eating foods I have never eaten before, a lot of my meals are either beige or bright orange (see Instagram photos on the right). Most of my greens are in the form of salad generally, which I’ve been getting quite bored of, but we do seem to be eating a lot of sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots… which are all bright orange. Great for all those lovely carotenoids, but not so great for eating the rainbow. So I’ve decided to address that this week.
As well as our usual sweet potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash and carrots, we’ve also gone for a suede, a red cabbage, and a cauliflower. We’ve also got a broccoli, baby spinach, salad leaves, and some leftover savoy cabbage in the fridge. I was struggling to think about what I could get in the red category (as tomatoes and red peppers are out) and I hadn’t figured it out before going to the supermarket, but apparently watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava and cranberries are good options for red foods. I have to admit, my food is far less colourful now I’m not able to eat tomatoes. Very upsetting.
Our fridge is so full of vegetables, it’s hilarious. We’ve also bought a lot more fish as frozen fish is not all that expensive compared to grass-fed meat and it seems to be doing me a lot of good. Fish can be pretty boring-looking and very beige so hopefully with all this lot, I should be able to put together a more rainbow-looking meal. Here’s hoping.
Do you eat the rainbow?
Breakfast: 1 pear, 1 slice of melon
Lunch: Chicken and bacon salad
Dinner: Coconut fish pie – I didn’t care for this recipe. I prefer parsnip and cauliflower mash to this. It was a bit too coconutty.
Snacks: 1 pear, 1 persimmon, 2 little packets of raisins, 1 small pack fruit leather.
Pain level (out of 10)
Today’s not been a great day to be honest. Woke up with pain about level 3. I think it went away in the mid-morning, but I wasn’t paying close attention. Came back quite early and has been with me all evening at about a 3. I’m not sure why. I even had fish for dinner 😦