Things to include in a healthy meal - New Indian Express

Things to include in a healthy meal – New Indian Express

Express News Service

When it comes to healthy eating, people are often confused about what and how much they eat. The simplest way to make sure you’re eating right is by creating a rainbow on your plate. You can do this by making your plate as colorful as possible with fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Include red, orange, yellow, green, blue…almost all the colors of the rainbow. Variety ensures that you get enough antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for good health.

Why are different colors important? Phytochemicals and natural bioactive compounds are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their colour. They all fight diseases by nature and keep heart disease, high blood pressure, blood pressure, vision loss and even cancer at bay. Here is the color detail for you.

Lycopene (red): Reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer, and promotes heart, brain and eye health. Take advantage of this chemical by adding watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers, and grapefruit to your diet.

Beta-carotene (orange): A precursor to vitamin A, this chemical has anti-cancer properties. It reduces inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and enhances vision. Foods rich in beta-carotene include carrots, apricots, yellow pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin C and flavonoids (yellow)These foods are rich in antioxidants and prevent the growth of cancer cells. Vitamin C and flavonoids detoxify the body, strengthen immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve heart health. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, kale, strawberries, and broccoli.

Folic acid (dark green): These foods help build healthy cells and genetic material. Rich in iron, it helps maintain healthy hemoglobin levels. Foods full of folate are also rich in chlorophyll, a plant pigment that helps increase oxygenation in the blood and acts as a blood purifier. Add asparagus, legumes, leafy greens, brussels sprouts, and beetroot leaves to your plate.

Indole and Lutein (Light Green): Rich in sulfur, it removes excess estrogen from the body, and also supports eye health. Foods that contain indole are cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens, and broccoli. Allyl sulfides and indoles are known to have anticancer properties and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Garlic, leeks, and onions contain high amounts of allyl sulfides.
Anthocyanins (blue-purple): Anthocyanins destroy free radicals, reduce inflammation, and benefit the brain. These foods are found in foods such as eggplant, berries, peaches, cherries, and grapes.

Resveratrol (pink): This compound helps reduce estrogen production and promotes heart and brain health. Foods rich in resveratrol are peanuts, dark chocolate, cranberries and grapes.

Fiber (brown): Fiber offers a wide range of health benefits. It helps in regulating sugar levels, aids digestive health, aids in fat control, reduces hyperglycemia, and aids in weight management. Add whole wheat, barley, bran, chickpeas and lentils to your diet.

Ways you can create a rainbow on your plate:
✥ Fried or sauteed vegetables
✥ salad
Chopped vegetables in lentils
✥ Vegetable soups of different colors
✥ rainbow sandwiches
Vegetable sticks with healthy sauces
Pulaf with green peas, beetroot, carrots and beans

Coutinho practices in Holistic Nutrition – Integrative Medicine and Lifestyle, founder of Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems.

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