Don’t Worry, Be Happy

T632ca1ea12eb21aa18ec4e834640356fhe Color Orange

I find it interesting that in the early 1500s, linguists believe people generally referred to orange as “yellowred,” which we all know are the two colors combined to create the color.  The combination of colors in the orange color brings the shared energy of red and the happiness of yellow.  

Orange is a fun color but communicates an interesting contradiction of  two opposing ideas—activity and caution. Those into essential oils use the orange scent to lift the spirit because it radiates warmth and energy creating an atmosphere of happiness.  Take a look at some other ways this color plays out in our lives:

  • Orange can encourage our attitude.
  • Sports teams use it to motivate energy and activity.
  • Restaurants use it for attention grabbing ability it promotes appetite.  In addition, they use pastel versions of orange to promote conversation and a good time while they eat and drink more.
  • Highways decorate the roadways with  traffic cones and zone markers as a symbol of safety caution.
  • Orange is emotionally stimulating and used for social communication.
  • Orange means “high” in the color-coded threat system as potential danger

As we can see, there is usually a strong positive “love it” or strong negative “hate it” association in whatever circumstances it is used in.  Let’s take a look now at how the color orange has the ability to bring happiness physiologically.

“Love it” (happiness in action)

  • Orange is an anti-inflammatory (happiness in action) tissue building, tissue repair, immune system development.  Additionally, the health benefits of Orange Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti depressant, anti spasmodic, anti septic.
  • Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite.
  • The vitality of the orange color is reflected in the Vitamin C rich orange bell peppers and oranges.  All orange fruit and vegetables are rich in beta-carotene and other anti-oxidants. The orange hue is the antioxidant beta-carotene, a cell-protecting antioxidant, which also helps support healthy skin (fortifies elasticity), hair and vision.

High-antioxidant foods behave like self-sacrificing soldiers to “calm the fires” in our immune system. Cellular damage (an internal rusting of tissues) occurs when these soldiers lose control.

Orange foods contain the following nutrients:

  • Two carotenoids: Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Flavonoids
  • Lycopene
  • Potassium – important for pH regulation
  • Vitamin C

Beta-carotene/carotenoid 

The phytochemicals responsible for the orange color in fruits and vegetables are Carotenoids.  The name beta-carotene is derived from the Latin name for ‘carrot’.  Like lycopene, orange caratonoids act as antioxidants, neutralizing harmful free radicals that can cause cancer, heart disease and other age related diseases.  Darker oranges offer a sense of comfort; some are spicy, some are earthy. Lighter oranges are soothing and healthy.

6-oranges

27c5e928745dbde12550494315ec70253091eee5Carotene is a pigment that absorbs violet and blue-green light (see spectrum
orangegraph) that provides rich yellows and oranges.  Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red pigments synthesized by plants.  Depending on the carotenoid pigment density at the center of the eye’s retina, 90% of blue light can be absorbed and protects the eye from oxidative damag. Carotenoids improve visual function through stimulating neuronal signaling efficiency in the eye.  Alpha and beta carotene are two carotenoids that can be converted into Vitamin A inside the body, especially healthy vision.  Vitamin A is also needed for several important roles in the body, which include bone and cell growth, and reproduction.

Carotenoids can facilitate communication between neighboring cells.  This type of intercellular communication is important for maintaining cells in a state where they are changing their specialize functions.  This differentiation of cells leads to a decrease in cell division.  Cell’s have a complex communication system and Carotenoids facilitate this communication between cells by increasing the expression of the gene encoding a type of protein.

Because beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body, it is called a provitamin A compound. Vitamin A is a 40% fat-soluble vitamin.  This means that your body can convert beta-carotene into retinol given you eat the food with a small amount of healthy unrefined fat like organic butter or unrefined olive or coconut oil”.

There are between 40-50 carotenoid chemical structures present in our diets that can be absorbed, metabolised, or used by our body.  How much of the color orange is in your dietary lifestyle?

Vitamin C

One of the very important role of vitamin C is its antioxidant activity.  Vitamin C acts on the central nervous system function, stimulates the function of the endocrine glands, enhances liver function, enables the adoption of iron in the intestine and participates in building the blood and collegan.  The biological life of vitamin C is fairly short, in blood plasma, so regular consumption of this Vitamin is essential.

Flavanoids/Flavanone

Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant chemicals called phytonutrients.  They are a large class of plant pigments (natural color).  They are compounds found in almost all fruits and vegetables. They are associated with many health benefits seen listed below.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants have the ability to influence a number of cells communicating with signals (cells-signaling) to coordinate their behavior to benefit an anti-inflammatory response and encourage the immune system.  Dietary flavonoids possess antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and antioxidant properties.  So if you have a diet rich in these orange foods you are in “love it” category.  You are encouraging prevention of cancer, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases. However, there is more to learn about how the flavonoids themselves are responsible.

Why are these pigments good for you?

The above mentioned plant pigments are responsible for the orange color that help repair, prevent, heal a number of conditions:

  • repair DNA
  • protecting against infections
  • building the immune system
  • lowers your chance of getting cancer
  • keeps your heart healthy
  • helps prevent heart disease
  • strengthen our vision promoting night vision and reduces age-related macular degeneration.
  • Night blindness is attributed to Vitamin A deficiency.
  • stimulates the lungs, the respiration, the digestion.
  • increases the activity of the thyroid and the amount of mothers milk,
  • promotes collagen growth
  • reliefs muscle cramps and spasms.

Top 10 highest foods with beta-carotene:  You can find beta-carotene in bright red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables such as:

  1. sweet potatoes (11509mcg/100g)
  2. melons (11883mcg/100g)
  3. carrots-cooked (8332mcg/100g)
  4. dark leafy greens (6288mcg/100g)
  5. green leaf lettuce (5226mcg/100g)
  6. butternut squash (4570mcg/100g)
  7. apricots (4558mcg/100g)
  8. grapefruit (3450mcg/100g)
  9. cantaloupe (2020mcg/100g)
  10. Red Bell Pepper (1624mcg/100g)

Tying it all together:  Orange creates the feelings of warmth, comfort, happiness, and peace.  If you want to be emotionally encouraged and happy, physically energetic, behaviorally pleasant and social, be the “Happy” encourager for someone else begin by eating the orange foods that build up and stimulate that healthy overall feeling.
serveimage-2Biblically, the orange is the color of praise, warfare, passion.  The fire of God   “…I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire…this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord…” Eze. 1:27,28  Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

Find the recipe: Tropical Pineapple Mango Salsa

NOTE:

1) Vitamin A can become toxic because it can be stored in fat cells.  These usually occur when taking artificial supplements.  Getting too much Vitamin A from your diet is more difficult.  So don’t limit your foods.

2) Fat-soluble Vitamins need fat to be assimilated for our body to use.

If you appreciated this information, please let me know and share it with others.

Sources:

FA Manual page 49

Food Network

Linus Pauling Institute

http://www.colormatters.com/the-meanings-of-colors/orange

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Sweet potato

cdc7a9808c2290a51afabc75c716423cSweetpotatoes belong to the Morning Glory family and are one of the oldest vegetables in the world.  They are rated the number one nutritious vegetable by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Sweetpotatoes are most commonly orange, but are also found in other colors, such as white, red, pink, violet, yellow and purple.  The antioxidant activity and nutrient content of Sweetpotatoes increases with the color intensity of the flesh. Sweetpotatoes are healthier than regular potatoes. They have a lower glycemic index and more fiber.

1. Sweetpotatoes provide kind carbohydrates that don’t induce a sugar crash

Sweetpotatoes fall much lower on the glycemic index which is better for avoiding sugar crashes and better for diabetes control.  They contain manganese, a little-discussed trace mineral is a pivotal component in the metabolism of carbohydrates in moderate amounts can help support and maintain healthy blood sugar levels even for those with diabetes.  This can also help stabilize the appetite for hours.

Mayo Clinic explains “Because low glycemic index foods are absorbed more slowly, they stay in your digestive tract longer. This is why these foods are sometimes called slow carbs. These foods may help control appetite and delay hunger cues, which can help with weight management. Balanced blood sugar also can help reduce the risk of insulin resistance.”

2. Sweetpotatoes keep your digestion running and help beat disease

One medium sweet potato with skin provides roughly between 4 to 6 grams of fiber just enough to be included as a good source of fiber. The National Institute of Medicine set the Dietary Reference Intake for fiber at 21 to 25 grams a day for women while men should get 30 to 38 grams per day. Fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and constipation.

3. Sweetpotatoes may keep some cancers at bay

Sweetpotatoes have the highest amount of beta carotene containing more beta-carotene, by weight or by volume, than any other fruit or vegetable, according to “The Color Code,” by Taylor Hartman, Ph.D., a book about the health benefits of colorful foods.

Vitamin A is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer as it is one of the most potent antioxidants out there.   A study by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition found that for younger men, beta carotene, a fat-soluble plant pigment that can be converted into vitamin A, could provide protection against prostate cancer. Meanwhile, a Japanese study revealed that beta carotene may decrease the risk of colon cancer.

4. Sweetpotatoes are a prize for the eyes

All that beta carotene is an excellent nutrient for the eyes linking to preventing vision loss and macular degeneration. Ophthalmologist Jill Koury, M.D., states that vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision.

Sweetpotatoes high antioxidant levels from vitamins C and E are also very kind to the eyes and may prevent degenerative damage. Beta-carotene also helps to internally protect your skin from sun damage by both deflecting and repairing cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure.

5. Sweetpotatoes could help conquer PMS blues

Experts estimate that up to 37 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of manganese in their diet. Along with promoting good bone health, one study found that boosting manganese intake from 1 mg to 5.6 mg of dietary manganese per day helped women with PMS to have fewer mood swings and cramps.  The trace mineral manganese is important for growth, development and metabolism.

6. Sweetpotatoes are a boon for childbearing.

Plant-based iron, like that found in sweetpotatoes, can potentially promote fertility, according to the Harvard Medical School. The vitamin A from sweetpotatoes beta carotene is also important for hormonal health during pregnancy and lactation.

7. Sweetpotatoes may tame inflammation

They are a good source of choline, a micronutrient in the B-vitamin family. Choline helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory, among other things, but it is also important in reducing chronic inflammation.

8. Sweetpotatoes help blood pressure!

A medium Sweetpotatoe contains almost 500 mg, making it one of the higher potassium vegetables. Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system by helping nerves and muscles communicate and by transporting nutrients into cells and moving waste products out of them, among other tasks. A diet rich in potassium is important in offsetting sodium’s harm to blood pressure. Medical News Daily notes that a high potassium intake is associated with a 20 percent decreased risk of dying from all causes!    Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely.

Sources:

  1. https://draxe.com/sweet-potato-nutrition-facts-benefits/
  2. http://foodfacts.mercola.com/sweet-potatoes.html
  3. http://www.naturalnews.com/035739_sweet_potatoes_beta-carotene_nutrients.html
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
Promoting a lifestyle of preventative care!
WELLNESS PRINCIPAL:  Health comes from within.  You cannot buy it in a bottle.