|Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC,
RN-BC, NC-BC, a registered nurse with national certifications in
public health, holistic nursing, and nursing professional development,
is co-author (with Caroline Young) of two books, Integrative Health: A
Holistic Approach for Health Professionals, and Spirituality, Health,
and Healing: An Integrative Approach. Cyndie has been a nurse executive,
consultant, featured speaker on a national talk show, and is the Co-CEO
of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (an education company focusing on holistic
and integrative health). She has presented numerous educational
workshops covering the entire spectrum of health promotion and wellness.
Cyndie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.allegralearning.com.|
| The American Holistic Health Association has compiled a collection of self-help articles to support your efforts to enhance your own health and well-being.|
|This article is part of the |
ENHANCING YOUR LEVEL OF WELLNESS
and the sub-category
NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION
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||To get a nutritious balance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other
essential nutrients, try eating a "rainbow diet." When you choose foods
at the produce aisle, use the colors of the
rainbow as your guideline. Do you remember "ROY G. BIV," the acronym many of us learned in
school? Use it as your guide to choosing a colorful palette of healthy,
Try some of these new and old favorites to liven up your menu and improve your health!
In addition to these foods, white foods (such as onions, garlic, chives,
scallions, and leeks) contain allicin, an element that helps fight high
cholesterol and high blood pressure. Allicin also increases the body's
ability to fight infections and inhibits the growth of prostate,
stomach, and colon cancer cells. Horseradish contains glucosinolate (an
anticancer and antibacterial compound), as well as calcium, potassium,
and vitamin C.
- Red/Bright Pink: Apples, cranberries, cherries, bell peppers, pomegranates, raspberries, tomatoes, strawberries, papayas, grapefruit, watermelons, and guavas are great sources of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. The nutrients in these foods may also help fight heart disease and some cancers.
- Orange: Oranges, bell peppers, carrots, pumpkins, peaches, apricots, sweet potatoes, goji (wolfberries), and cantaloupes contain beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. All these choices enhance your immune system.
- Yellow: Lemons, mangos, corn, pineapples, bananas, yellow bell peppers, and squash contain beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also contain important immune-enhancing properties.
- Green: Kale, spinach, dark leafy
lettuce, seaweed, avocados, zucchini, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas,
and broccoli contain chlorophyll and carotenoids like lutein and
zeaxanthin, which have antioxidant properties. Many of these green foods also
contain vitamins (including folate), minerals (like iron, potassium,
and calcium), and fiber. They help prevent cancer (particularly of the
lung and colon), reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease,
and protect your eyes.
- Blue: Blueberries, bilberries,
black currants, eggplants, and blackberries contain flavonoids,
phytochemicals, and antioxidants as well as a pigment called
anthocyanin, currently being studied for its role in protecting the body
against harmful carcinogens. These foods also contain fiber, which is helpful in
the prevention of colon cancer, and they have antidiabetic properties.
- Violet/Indigo: Grapes, black beans, black cherries, prunes, raisins, boysenberries, mangosteens, passion fruit, purple cabbage, plums, and flowers from sage, rosemary, and thyme plants contain flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamin D, phytochemicals, and fatty acids (essential to proper brain function).
Incorporating these colorful "super foods" into your diet can help you improve or
maintain your health. As "whole foods," they are created by nature so
each one is rich in many different nutrients and vitamins. Eating well
is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Discover how much fun
it is to be good. "Paint your plate" and eat from the rainbow every day!