AS PUBLISHED IN YOGA INTERNATIONAL
Discover a Culinary Rainbow With Simple Summer Recipes That Pack a Colorful and Nutritious Punch
Summer’s abundance presents a tantalizing problem: how do we choose what to eat from this embarrassment of riches? One way to organize your pleasant amblings through the farmer’s market is to shop by color. As simple as this sounds, the concept is backed by research. Phytochemicals, the vitamins and minerals found in plants that give them their brilliant hues, have been found to prevent and treat disease, and we require a variety of these nutrients from across the color spectrum to stay healthy.
When you “eat your colors,” as Michael Pollan advises in his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (and maybe your mother also mentioned), you get healthy doses of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, as well as antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids. These protect our cells from the effects of environmental toxins and from free radicals, which increase dramatically as we age, and in turn age us. Antioxidants have also been shown to help battle heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Vegan chef and cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says shopping and cooking by color actually makes nutrition easier. Simply look at your basket: folate makes kale green, betacyanin makes beets red, lutein makes corn yellow, beta-carotene makes mangos and carrots orange, and so on. Try buying and cooking a different color every week, or assembling the most colorful dishes you can.
Blueberries, a key ingredient in the chilled blueberry mango soup recipe that follows, are packed with one of the most powerful antioxidants around, anthocyanin. The avocados, peppers and greens in the accompanying summer salad provide lutein, more antioxidants, folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and manganese.
These refreshing summer recipes are simple to prepare and require the freshest ingredients available (buy organic when possible). They taste as rich as the season, and their appetizing rainbow of colors provides excellent support for overall vitality.