As a California native, my eye has always been drawn to brilliant and inviting colors. The image of clear blue skies and green palm trees will be imprinted on my brain forever. Grey days are gloom and doom. I am just in a better mood on a bright sunny day. In other words, a boost of color makes me happy. Can you relate? Let’s start thinking about the concept of bold hues and why they nourish your body and your spirit. Read on to learn how you can benefit instantly by working color into your nutritional palate and into your life!
One of the first things I tell all my clients is to eat the full color spectrum of the rainbow. This means loading your plate with nutrient- rich foods in deeply pigmented hues. (No, not Lucky Charms). Think ruby red berries, forest green kale, and golden butternut squash. These foods are not only visually more interesting but also far better for you than stripped down refined and processed white alternatives.
I am all about the vibrancy of beautiful food, but if I have not convinced you yet to let ROY G. BIV (remember Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet from elementary school?) show up on your plate, here are my top three reasons to live in color:
- Increase Your Micronutrient Intake. Take a high nutrient approach to achieve optimal health by eating foods rich in micronutrients. Phytochemicals (micronutrients that are plant-based) contain all the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy, happy body. The colors of deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables reflect the different antioxidants and phytonutrients they contain. Many of these nutrients help protect against chronic disease, but each in a slightly different way, so the best protection is keeping your diet varied and full of natural color. (Check out the Nutrition Rainbow for the specific list of health benefits.
- Crowding Out. By increasing your color load from plant-based foods, you limit the space on your plate (and in your stomach) for less desirable options. When you fill up on foods that nourish your body, give you explosive energy and trim your waist, you will “crowd out” the foods that are not serving you as well.
- A Feast for the Eyes. Before you can even get the food into your mouth, your eyes survey the situation and help you decide whether to go for it! Vibrant colors are enticing, increase the pleasure of the meal, and therefore create a more satisfying eating experience. Imagine a bowl of plain oatmeal. Now use your imagination to sprinkle in red raspberries, sliced up strawberries and flavorful flax seeds. I know I’d chose a bright bowl of my Steel Cut Oats with Berries and Flax Seeds any day over the more beige option!
Beyond the Plate
If color can elevate your eating experience, then it can also play a role in elevating your mood in other contexts, too. I have hardly had time to read my fun fashion mags, but I can tell that bold colors are abundant. So, break out of the basic black uniform and start sprinkling bright hues into your spring wardrobe. Be brave and go for some cheerful color-blocking or accent neutral pieces with vibrant accessories. I´m eyeing an orange blazer for spring, but for now, I’m going to make some Butternut Squash Soup (with kale, of course).
How are you planning to Live In Color this spring?