There is so much to love about Week Three of The 30 Clean Challenge. Flu-tox is behind us, the bliss is starting to kick in and day 31 is within site. While you may be jumping for joy over Three-Ingredient Pancakes, we also hope you fall in love with a new fruit or veggie. Rainbow Week will  not only help introduce your palate to some new tastes, but it may also be just want your body needs to bring radiance and shine back to your skin! 

Here’s why: fruits and vegetables get their color mainly from phytonutrients, the various chemicals which help protect the plant as it matures. While they are not as vital to our health as vitamins, they may help prevent inflammation & disease, keep our immune function working properly and, help nourish our skin and hair as we mature too (what a bonus!) All great reasons to love Rainbow Week.

Try Something New

You’ve heard us say that variety in your food will keep your options fresh & exciting and your body in sync. Eating a variety of whole foods is the only way to ensure that you’re getting the proper micronutrients that your body needs to thrive. Also, rotating foods is key to keeping inflammation down and avoiding food allergies and intolerances.

Check out this list of not-so-run-of-the-mill foods you can find at your neighborhood grocer or farmers’ market. We’ve also listed the benefit of the particular nutrient to help motivate you to step out of your comfort zone. Remember, try to keep your choices organic, seasonal and local as much as possible.  

Have fun with Rainbow week! We hope you will find at least one new & yummy beauty to add to your weekly rotation.   

A word about cell damaging free radicals & beneficial antioxidants:  Free radicals occur naturally within the body, and for the most part, the body’s natural antioxidants can manage their detoxification. But, there are certain external factors that can trigger the production of free radicals. These factors include:

  • Excessive exposure to UV rays
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Excessive exercise

The good news is that antioxidants have the remarkable ability to repair damage. 

The body naturally produces antioxidants as a means of defending itself against free radicals. The antioxidants neutralize the free radicals, thereby rendering them harmless to other cells. But, the antioxidants produced naturally by the body are not enough to neutralize all free radicals. Therefore, a consistent supply of foods rich in antioxidants should be a part of your daily diet. 

Yellows & Oranges: 

Their color comes from carotenoids, which quickly get converted by the body into Vitamin A. Carotenoids are antioxidants that tackle harmful free radicals which damage tissues throughout your body and they help defend your skin against UV sun damage, sun spots and premature wrinkles.

Golden beets: excellent kidney and body cleansers, high in powerful antioxidants, and help treat anemia and fatigue. They are also good for eyes and skin.

Yellow peppers: These little immune boosting gems pack a nutrition punch! Yellow bell peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids. They are rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene, fiber and can help lower cholesterol levels.

Persimmon: Persimmons contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper and phosphorus. Potassium is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work normally. Manganese is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. It is also helpful in fighting cancer and protecting from aging effects, boosting immunity and improving digestion.  

Mango: This king of fruits is a fantastic choice because it is rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. It is a good source of potassium and imparts antioxidant properties as well. Try it with a squeeze of lime and dash of chili pepper.

Yellow watermelon: It is sweeter than the red-fleshed variety and has plentiful amounts of patassium (good for maintaining a healthy blood pressure), Vitamin A (keeps the cells that protect you against infection working the way they should) and Vitamin C ,which among other benefits, keeps gums and teeth healthy. Smile, beautiful. 

Cape gooseberries: cape gooseberries are known for their ability to purify the blood. They are filled with vitamins A (good for your eye health), B, and C. They also possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Reds: Their color comes from lycopene (may help reduce risk of cancer) and the pigment in red fruits and vegetables have powerful antioxidant properties. Lycopene also supplies our skin with UV defense and promotes cell turnover, leaving our skin smooth and soft.

Radishes: high in water content and vitamin C. Their strong flavor and spice can help eliminate excess mucus and can be helpful when fighting a cold. Radishes are also a cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate slow moving food and toxins.

Radicchio: truly a super food, radicchio offers a great supply of B-complex vitamins that replenish your skin, eyes and nails. It’s vitamin K content is high enough to ensure healthy neurons in your brain and help support bone health.  Try grilling 5-7 minutes for a mellower taste.

Rhubarb: used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, rhubarb is one of the most commonly used herbs in Chinese Medicine. Rhubarb provides good amounts of vitamin-K. One cup provides about 24% of daily recommended intake. Vitamin K has a potential role in bone health. Adequate vitamin-K levels are essential for proper neurological function and brain health.

: guavas can make a great before or after intense workout snack because they have a good amount of potassium which serves in balancing electrolytes.   Pink guava is another rich source of antioxidants, specifically cryptoxanthin, which protects from free radical damage.  

Green:  Their color comes from chlorophyll which oxygenates and detoxifies the blood, which in turn stimulates the anti aging enzymes and encourages healthy and youthful skin.

Artichoke: one artichoke contains approximately 25% of the average adult`s daily fiber requirements.  The leaf and heart help with digestion and digestive issues like irritable stomach and bowel. Artichokes have been shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).

Watercress: this dainty little green is a big power house!  Ounce for ounce, watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than bananas. It’s excellent for bone health as it has the right proportion of calcium, magnesium, manganese, vitamins A, C and K. It’s rich in vitamin C and can help relieve symptoms of cold or flu. Add a handful to your next juice press for a big nutritional benefits.

Kiwi: Another super-food, regular consumption of kiwi fruit aids the body in eliminating toxins and wastes which in turn gives skin a healthy glow. It’s high in serotonin and recent studies suggest that eating kiwi before bed helps people get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer. 

Blues & Purples: Best known for their antioxidant properties, their dark color may help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, memory decline and aging-related diseases. Beauty benefits: hard working antioxidants boost skin elasticity and connective tissue. They also help prevent natural collagen from breaking down, keeping your skin looking firm and plump.

Purple cauliflower: purple cauliflower is actually in the same family as broccoli and is loaded with vitamin C. Approximately one cup of cooked purple cauliflower provides 100% of the recommended daily value for adults.

Purple carrots: a good source of the beneficial antioxidant, anthocyanin which helps repair and restore collagen. 

Blackberries: Research has shown that a specific antioxidant found in blackberries may help to prevent sun damage by keeping collagen from degrading and reducing the inflammatory response caused by the sun.

You don’t have to be on a 30 Clean Challenge to try out new fruits and veggies! Now that you know how valuable eating the rainbow can be, challenge yourself to try a new color every week! 

 

Contributed by Amy Taylor, Certified Health Coach