Dr. Laura: The Science of Eating a Rainbow

The colours that our foods employ are very functional and serve a purpose. Phytonutrients are vast and the last time I counted, there were over 5,000 known.

Allow me to introduce Dr. Deana Minich, MD. She has dedicated her career to express why, in scientific means, we should “eat” a rainbow. In the chart below she simplifies how different coloured foods serve our body.

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What makes this even more interesting is that this chart also closely reflects the colours that relate to the energy centres of the body called chakras. This makes eating polyphenol rich foods easy to prescribe!

Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits is critical to good nutrition. Try 6 cups of vegetables a day and 1-3 cups of fruit per day. Choose foods for their vital nutrient function in ways that serve the needs of your body.

Plant Power!

Turns out, mother nature has packed a punch of power in the plant kingdom. Many plants contain one or more of these 5,000 nutritional perks that helps us:

  • Defend against pathogens, parasites, and predators.
  • Protect against chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer.
  • Purify and renew the blood
  • Nourish
  • Cleanse body of toxins
  • Stimulate effects
  • Relaxing effects
  • Anti-inflammatory

So next time you are in the grocery store, hit the fresh produce aisle and think “Eat a Rainbow”! You just might find the gold that exists at the end of it…your good health.

From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Recipe for Classic Tomato Sauce

Classic Tomato Saucetomato

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Two 26-ounce boxes Pomi Chopped Tomatoes or two 28-ounce cans whole plum tomatoes, chopped with their liquid

PREPARATION

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaf, oregano, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the sauce on the bottom of the pot from burning. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Recipe shared by Dr. Laura from: Epicurious.com

Did you know?

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, tomatoes provide an abundance of health. Here are just a few ways tomatoes are described:

Very cooling

Sour and sweet flavor

Builds Yin fluids

Relieves dryness and thirst

Tonifies the stomach

Purifies blood and detoxifies general body

Encourages digestion: useful for anorexia, food retention, indigestion, constipation

Relieve liver heat and high blood pressure, red eyes, headache

Treats areas of stagnant blood

Acidic fruit, after digestion is alkaline in the body: useful for gout

Vine ripened best, when picked green and falsely ripened, tends to weaken the kidney-adrenal function

Too many is not healthy – max 1-2 twice a day

Avoid in arthritis, may exacerbate inflammation.

What is it about the tomato that is so good?

Tomato and tomato products have lots of phytonutrients, namely 9 different carotenoids and are the predominant source of lycopene, neurosporene, gama-carotene, phytoene and phytofluene. It is lycopene’s potent antioxidant effect that prizes it for anticancer properties, especially prostate cancer. There are more than a half a dozen major studies that support a 30-40% reduction in prostate cancer risk with consistent intake of tomatoes (especially cooked and when taken with a healthy fat like olive oil).  There is also evidence for lycopene to support the fight against cardiovascular disease, BPH, and cancers of the breast, cervix, ovarian, pancreatic, lung and colon.

This is  likely a strong contributing factor as to why the Mediterranean diet is considered so healthful. More information on the Mediterranean diet is available here.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND