Colourful foods make me feel vibrant. The eye-hand-heart connection embodies presence and health with the preparation and consumption of colours from both a physiological and energetic (chakra) point of view.
Antioxidants for Health Promotion
The colours in plant foods are produced by potent phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that benefit our body-mind in numerous ways as antioxidants alongside antioxidant-rich fat-soluble vitamins such as A, C, and E and other synergistic vitamins and minerals. Simply put, antioxidants prevent or slow cell damage by neutralizing free-radicals. They are natural skin beautifiers and are anti-inflammatory in nature.
What are free radicals? Free radicals are unstable molecules with unpaired electrons — this offset makes them highly reactive. In the body they seek out other electrons to pair with to become stable again. Sources include pollution, UVA and UVB rays, irritants, and cell metabolism.
Make Rainbow Meals, Everyday
What is appealing to the eye is more often than not palatable to the tongue. Make your plate or bowl your canvas and set a goal to incorporate at least 3 colors into your meals. Start with greens (sautéed and/or fresh) and move forward. For example, play with the contrast of light and dark colored greens and add three different colourful vegetables, such as cranberry hued raddichio thrown into a sautéed bowl of yellow squash and brussels sprouts. Top with tolerated protein of choice — turkey or chicken, fish, bison or beef, lamb, duck, venison, elk, seeds and legumes.
During cooler months choose more vegetables that you can steam or bake (such as root vegetables and cruciferous veggies), and during warmer months choose fresher, quick-growing vegetables. Be sure to check in with your digestive system after eating raw versus cooked — certain constitutions feel best with cooked vegetables whereas others prefer fresh. One sign to look for is undigested vegetables in your stool — if this is an issue with you, cook your vegetables!
Look around at your local farmer’s market for inspiration and refer to the list antioxidant-colour food list below when you feel stuck with meal ideas.
Antioxidants: Isothiocyanates, Indoles, Lutein, + Carotenoids – liver support, detoxification, anti-cancer properties, eye health (lutein).
Vitamins + Minerals: vitamin K, potassium, folic acid, omega 3 fatty acids.
Heart Chakra (4th): unconditional love, acceptance of others and of the love within self. Body part: thymus gland, heart-blood, circulatory system, influence immune and endocrine system.
Green foods: leafy greens (all), sprouts, herbs, leek green, green onion, chives, asparagus, brussels sprouts, broccoli, book toy, celery, green pepper, fiddlehead, avocado, cucumber, cabbage, green peas, green beans, kiwi, pumpkin seeds, pistachios.
Antioxidant: Carotenoids (convert in the body to vitamin A) – vision, immune function, skin and bone health, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention (lung, esophagus, stomach).
Vitamins + Minerals: A, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids.
Sacral Chakra (2nd): creativity/sexual/pleasure centre, giving and receiving, it governs attitudes in relationships, sex, and reproduction. Body part: ovaries and testes.
Orange foods: Carrot, orange pepper, yam, squash (kabocha, delicata), pumpkin, apricot, nectarine, orange, mango, canteloupe.
Antioxidant: Anthocyanin – supports heart health, blood pressure, anti-cancer.
Vitamins + minerals: vitamins C, E, B
Crown Chakra (7th): Spiritual consciousness, feeing of integration with God, ‘higher inner power’, the ultimate consciousness and Divine purpose, balance. Body part: pineal gland, right eye, higher brain.
3rd Eye Chakra (Indigo (blue-purple) 6th): centre of intuition, governing outer expression of inner vision, dreams and goals. Body part: pituitary gland, lower brain, nervous system, ears and nose, left eye, eye of personality.
Purple foods: Red (purple) cabbage, purple lettuce, Hawaiian sweet potato, beet, eggplant (skin), blackberry, grape, plum, prunes, dulse.
Antioxidant: Lutein + Carotenoids – eye health, immune function, skin and bone health, cardiovascular health, blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention (lung, stomach, esophagus).
Vitamins + minerals: vitamin C, A, omega 3 fatty acids.
Solar Plexus Chakra (3rd): Centre of power and wisdom, the clearing house for emotional sensitivities and issues of personal power. Body parts: pancreas, liver, spleen, stomach, gall bladder, and aspects of the nervous system.
Yellow Foods: Artichoke, squash (butternut, spaghetti, etc.), yellow beet, corn, yellow pepper, yellow flesh sweet potato, pineapple, mango, peach, lemon, egg yolk, mustard, turmeric, saffron.
Antioxidant: Anthocyanin (see purple, above)
Throat Chakra (5th): Expression, communication, positivity, freedom, judgement centre, self expression without judgement, “what we perceive in another is a reflection of ourselves”. Body part: pineal gland, right eye, higher brain.
3rd Eye Chakra (indigo (blue-purple) 6th): Intuitive consciousness, inner vision, governing outer expression of inner vision, dreams and goals. Body part: pituitary gland, lower brain, nervous system, ears and nose, left eye, eye of personality.
Blue Foods: Blueberry, cabbage juice left from steaming red (purple) cabbage, grape, blue potato, hemp seed (fleck of blue).
Antioxidant: Lycopene – cancer prevention (especially prostate), heart health, breast health.
+ Anthocyanins (see purple, above)
Vitamins + Minerals: vitamin C, folate.
Root Chakra (1st): survival centre, centre of abundance and prosperity, grounding, belonging, connecting, understanding of the physical dimension, doing or flight or flight. Body part: adrenal gland, kidneys and spinal column.
Red Foods: Raddichio, red pepper, tomato, chile, red radish, red lettuce, cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, strawberry.
Pink Foods (see red and purple, above): watermelon radish, watermelon, pink peppercorn.
One of my favourite rainbow salads that I’ve made: A base of butter lettuce with sautéed butternut squash, sautéed carrot, cucumber, purple daikon radish, red radish, and pea sprouts. Dressed with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, a bit of maple syrup, and sea salt. I added sliced turkey breast to the salad after taking the photo.