One of the biggest mistakes we make when we are trying to lose weight is that we fail to add variety to our diet. This week at Weight Watchers we have a challenge to eat 3 different colors of fruits and veggies per day. Adding color not only is good for you, but adding color will add some pizzazz to what you are eating. What can be worse that eating the same old thing day after day? It’s fine for a while, but then it gets old really fast. What happens when the plan gets tiring? We end up slipping backward and we lose ground by gaining weight.
I just had a salad. Not an ordinary bland salad, but a gorgeous salad. I had lettuce, carrots, purple cabbage; a half can of tuna packed in water, topped with low fat shredded cheese. On the side I had two huge strawberries, and a handful of beautiful red cherries. My salad was a complete meal complete with protein.
We all know fruits and veggies are good for us, but what do we really mean by that? In what way are fruits and veggies good for us? If you guessed antioxidants, you are correct. Antioxidants fight those free radicals that attack the body. In other words many of your fruits and vegetables can prevent cancer. My son-in-law’s family has a blueberry farm. Each year my family and I get out and pick after the majority of the paying customers leave. When I get home I pop those babies in the freezer just as they are. When I am ready to use them I clean them and pop them in cereal, yogurt, and oatmeal.
Fruits and vegetables make us healthier by boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol, reducing the chance for having a stroke, or heart attack. If you really think about what fruits and vegetables do for us, you might start thinking more about adding different colors of fruits and veggies to your every day eating plan. I’m going to name a few fruits and veggies and share what other things they do for the body:
Apples-add fiber to the gut, which prevents constipation. Apples have an anti-inflammatory property that makes them good for joint pain and fevers.
Broccoli-the National Cancer Institute says that broccoli is the best cancer fighting vegetable. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, cauliflower, Bok Choy, and Kale are all cancer fighting veggies, because they contain Sulforaphane, which helps us produce enzymes that kill the free radicals before they get a chance to attack and destroy healthy cells. My family and I eat broccoli and brussels sprouts several times a week.
Blueberries-are the best antioxidants of any fruit you can eat. The blue color comes from the antioxidants in the blueberries. Those antioxidants are called anthocyanins. Blueberries are also good for constipation.
Tomatoes-are packed full of potassium, lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Tomatoes also contain favonoids which helps to prevent cancer.
Carrots-cleanse the liver. Carrots also are packed full of Vitamin A, protein, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium. We all know the Vitamin A in carrots helps to prevent night blindness. (I need to eat more carrots, because I cannot drive at night. I cannot see at night.)
There are many more fruits and vegetables that I didn’t mention. There are melons, peaches, plums, and many other fruits. Avocados are really good for your heart. Have you noticed that when you give your body what it needs that you FEEL better? When you aren’t eating what your body needs, it’s like a car that isn’t running on all its cylinders. We have to do our job and feed our body what it needs.
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Since I have been attending Weight Watchers, I have been shopping for fruits and vegetables with color in mind. I buy yellow string beans, red peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, melons, purple cabbage, and many other fruits and veggies. I buy them for 3 reasons: 1-they make my plate look pretty, 2-they cleanse the body, and boost the immune system, and finally 3-because they have helped to heal my body and mind.