Hey everyone! I am back today building on the positive theme of adding more to your nutrition instead of solely focusing on taking away. Just like you want to get varied sources of fiber into your daily diet, you also want to make sure to incorporate a variety of colors! Of course I am not talking about candies here, but I do want you to partake in nature’s rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
The most basic reason for trying to eat foods from all different color spectrums is that they all carry different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants depending on the pigment represented. Red foods usually have more lycopene which can help keep your skin healthy and also play a role in cardiovascular health. Yellow and orange foods have Vitamins C and A which play a role in immune function and vision. Dark blue and purple foods contain powerful antioxidants which can help fight free radicals that damage cells in the body. We’ve already talked about how great green foods are in a prior post. Even white foods have benefits like assisting in lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation in the body.
One of the other benefits is that eating colorful foods is pleasing to the eyes. Visual cues do have an impact on how satisfied we feel with our meals. Think about highly rated restaurants. They usually serve food that looks good first, then also tastes amazing. If you include multiple colors on one plate it will help you feel more satisfied and in turn help keep you from looking for satiation in less desirable places.
When I go to the farmers market or the store I pay attention to my choices to make sure I’m getting the variety I need. Since I do my cooking all at once, I think about what I am incorporating into each meal. You can also do this on a daily basis if that is more suited to your lifestyle. Having a basic outline for how you incorporate the different colors can be great, too. If you have a smoothie every day, make sure to include some kind of leafy greens and berries to cover green and purple, blue or red. Whatever your basic lunch is, add some colorful bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots or onions to cover a few bases. They key is making sure to have a few colors with every meal instead of waiting until dinner to try to get all of your vegetables in for the day.
Putting this into practice does not have to be challenging. This time of year I love roasting a big pan of root vegetables all together–making it quite easy to hit a number of colors all in one meal! Sometimes pairing vegetables together is a good way to consume some that you may not normally like alone. Using lots of herbs and strong flavors like balsamic vinegar also help enhance the natural taste of the vegetables.
Roasted Fall Veg & Tempeh
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
- 1 large sweet potato, chopped
- 5-6 small to medium beets, trimmed & chopped
- 1 red onion, peeled & diced
- 2 (8-ounce) packages tempeh, chopped
- 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (plus extra for serving)
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all of your ingredients into a 9×13 pan (or any large enough to fit all of the vegetables). Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until all of the vegetables are cooked through. Stir a few times during the cooking process to prevent sticking. Drizzle a bit of extra balsamic when serving if needed.
What are your favorite colorful fruits and vegetables to eat?