I am a natural health enthusiast and I love sharing the things that have worked to keep me healthy and happy and improve my quality of life.
Is Proper Nutrition a Viable Way to Prevent Illness and Improve Overall Health?
The advice to "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," is attributed to Hippocrates, who is best known for being the father of medicine.
Many people in our society today think this quote is a little bit outdated. After all, we use all kinds of medicines to fight off everything from headaches and the common cold to life threatening diseases.
This might sound a little crazy, but I want you to use your imagination and think about a world where people's bodies and immune systems are so strong that most of the medications on the market have become obsolete.
Do you like that image? Do you wish you were living in that world? What if foods really could serve as our primary form of medicine? Would you be interested in knowing how to eat in a way that would leave you with very little need for the medications that are being marketed today?
Each color of fruit and vegetable has unique characteristics that can strengthen our bodies and keep them healthy. Let's look specifically at these characteristics, and see if they are convincing reasons for you to make an effort to eat the full rainbow spectrum of fruits and vegetables starting today.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
I read this book when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and it is what got me started on all my research into nutrition. It truly changed my life!
Reason #1: Purple and Blue Fruits and Vegetables Provide a Power Packed Punch That Your Body Craves
Purple and blue foods make up only about 3% of the average American's fruit and vegetable intake, which is really a shame because the benefits of these delicious fruits and vegetables are what many people would consider miraculous.
If you knew there was a food that could help reduce inflammation in the body, reduce your risk for high blood pressure, and even reduce your risk for obesity, would you want to know which food that was?
What if it could also improve eye health, help your body absorb calcium and other important nutrients, boost immunity, support a healthy digestive track, and was even known to shrink tumors as it kills off cancer cells?
This food is starting to sound pretty miraculous isn't it? That's what purple and blue fruits and vegetables can do for your body! It's amazing right?
The following foods fall into the purple and blue category:
- cabbage (purple variety)
- carrots (purple variety)
- asparagus (purple variety)
This is an awesome documentary for anyone who is looking for a little bit of extra motivation to improve dietary habits.
Reason #2: Green Vegetables Are Super Heroes In Your Body
There's a reason your mom was always trying to get you to eat your greens. They are like super heroes, providing your body with crucial nutrients to help you stay healthy and strong. (Think about what all that spinach did for Popeye).
Did you know that dark green vegetables are high in calcium and give it to you in a form that is easier for your body to absorb than the calcium in dairy products so that these vegetables can very effectively aid in bone development and maintenance?
Greens are known to support a healthy immune system and digestive system, and are even known for lowering the likelihood of getting cancer.
Some popular green fruits and vegetables include:
- green pepper
- green apples
- green grapes
If you don't believe that nutrition can rid of you of disease and drastically improve health, this documentary is a miraculous story just for you!
Reason #3: Your Body Celebrates Whenever You Feed It Orange and Yellow Plants
Just like the other hues of fruits and vegetables we've learned about so far, yellow and orange have a lot to offer.
These fruits and vegetables support eye health reducing macular degeneration in the eyes. They help your body use calcium more efficiently to support bone health. They improve the health of your joints and strengthen your immune system.
They help to lower blood pressure, fight harmful free radicals, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Some favorite yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are:
- Citrus fruits (orange/grapefruit/lemon/pineapple)
- sweet potatoes
- orange and yellow varieties of squash (pumpkin/butternut squash/acorn squash/etc)
You can read about my personal journey to improved health here!
- I lost Almost 100 Pounds Naturally and You Can Do It Too
When people ask me how I lost almost 100 pounds, I tell them that I literally ran my tail off. It wasn't easy, but with a positive attitude and a lot of hard work I proved that it was possible.
Reason #4: Red Fruits and Vegetables Are Gaining a Reputation for Being "The New Powerhouses"
According to webmd.com, red fruits and vegetables are the new powerhouses. Of course, their magic powers have been there all along, they've just spent a lot of time being a bit underrated in the shadow of the power greens.
Red fruits and vegetables are known to help the body in a wide variety of ways.
Many bright red and pink fruits and vegetables are known for being high in lycopene which is a great cancer fighter that is particularly effective in giving men's bodies support for fighting prostate cancer, and according to a recent study at Harvard, lycopene may also aid in stroke prevention.
The foods with the most lycopene are:
- Pink Grapefruit
Red fruits and vegetables have more to offer than just lycopene though. Other benefits include protecting against high blood pressure and diabetes.
Other popular red fruits and vegetables are:
- Red Apples
- Red Pears
- Red Berries (Strawberries/Raspberries/Cranberries/etc.)
- Red Peppers
- Red Onions
- Red Potatoes
Learn more about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables in this documentary.
Reason #5: White Fruits and Vegetables Are Powerful Unsung Heroes
This group of vegetables is often over looked among the colorful excitement when talking about eating the rainbow, but their lack of pigment does not equal lack of nutrition.
Garlic and onions are known for their strong scents, but what many people don't know is that the chemical responsible for their strong scents also is responsible for strengthening the immune system so your body can better fight off infections. It also can prevent the growth of cancerous tumors.
Cauliflower is also full of compounds that kill off cancer cells. Who doesn't want those compounds in their bodies on a regular basis? Chemicals in cauliflower can also support a healthy digestive system, weight loss, and even brain and memory function. Let's not forget it's bone strengthening abilities either.
White potatoes are high in potassium which supports healthy blood pressure levels. They are rich in vitamin B6 which helps you to maintain an even mood, and although many people cut them out of their weight loss plans, they are actually high in dietary fiber which means they not only contribute to a healthy gut, but can also contribute to weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer than many other foods.
Let's not forget the benefits of white mushrooms. They support healthy liver function, help with cholesterol and blood sugar regulation in the body, help your body to feel energized, and they are full of cancer fighting antioxidants. They are also beneficial in supporting bone health.
Other popular white fruits and vegetables include:
- brown pears
- white peaches
- white nectarines
- white corn
What do you think?
Eat a Combination of All These Colorful Plants For the Best Health Benefits
As you can see, the fruit and vegetable world has a lot to offer when it comes to strengthening your body as a whole and fortifying your immune system so that it can effectively fight off invading illnesses.
Of course faithfully eating any kinds of fruits and vegetables will reap great benefits, but for optimal results, you want to try to have 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (heavier on the vegetable side) and try to include a wide variety of colors in your diet.
This will allow your body to thrive as it receives all the miraculous nutrients provided in these plants.
Try it out and see if it really is possible to follow the advice of Hippocrates, letting "food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
- The Dangers of Sugar Addiction: Why to Kick the Habit and Some Tips to Help You Along the Way
Most people don't realize the harmful effects that the sugary foods they eat are having on their bodies. Sugar is addicting, but it's worth giving up and you can do it!
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on December 12, 2016:
Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on December 12, 2016:
I agree with @peachpurple. Love my greens! :)
Rebecca Young (author) from Renton, WA on October 25, 2015:
I love gardening and having fresh vegetables to eat. Garden vegetables seem like they are always better than the ones at the store.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on October 25, 2015:
green vegetables are the best, I plant my own spinach, kale, mustard greens