Purple – Royal Nutrition

The Royalty of Purple

Purple was called a “royal color” because it was very rare in nature and expensive to make.

The color dates back to the ancient world of kings and queens.  The Persian King Cyrus adopted a purple tunic as his royal uniform, and some Roman emperors forbid their citizens from wearing purple clothing under penalty of death.

The reason for purple’s regal reputation comes down to a simple case of supply and demand. For centuries, the purple dye trade was centered in the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre in modern-day Lebanon. The Phoenicians’ “Tyrian purple” came from a species of sea snail now known as Bolinus brandaris, and it was so exceedingly rare that it became worth its weight in gold. To harvest it, dye-makers had to crack open the snail’s shell, extract a purple-producing mucus and expose it to sunlight for a precise amount of time. It took as many as 250,000 mollusks to yield just one ounce of usable dye, but the result was a vibrant and long-lasting shade of purple.

Clothes made from the dye were exorbitantly expensive—a pound of purple wool cost more than most people earned in a year—so they naturally became the calling card of the rich and powerful.

“Purple is . . . the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow – and it’s a color with a powerful history . . . purple symbolizes luxury, romancemystery, spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, dignity, royalty – and it captures all of these meanings more so than any other color.” (ColorMatters.com)

Long associated with royalty, purple creates an air of luxury, even decadence. Using a purple dominantly is a quick way to create a sense of elegance or high-end appeal.

Lighter shades of purple – especially lavender – bring to mind spring and romance. Darker shades add more mystery, and can even symbolise creativity. Darkening the shade will also turn the romantic elements more sensual.

Purple fits in the realm of food in its “royalty” regarding nutrition.

Purple is the new trend in food.  Why?

The Pantone predicted purple foods to trend in 2017.  Throughout 2017, purple foods seemed to come out of hiding and showing up everywhere.  Chef’s menus elaborated on these richly trend setting recipes colored purple foods which include:  Berry & Beet Smoothie, Roasted Baby Purple Cauliflower, Roasted Beets, Baked Purple Sweet Potato, Purple Cabbage, Eggplant parmesan. Other foods including Blackberries, Purple Asparagus, Elderberries, Acai, Purple Carrots,  Pomegranate, Purple sweet potatoes, Concord Grapes, Blueberries, Darker Skinned grapes, Plum’s, Purple Corn, Black rice (has more anthocyanins per gram than blueberries).

The Pantone Color Institute, the global authority on color trends, has chosen Ultra Violet as the color of 2018.  For a second year in a row, purple is at the top of food trends.

What is so special about purple food?

In a nut shell, the color purple is a protector of the outer nervous system of brain, eyes, and skin, and inner nervous system how of our digestive system.  This vibrant color often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants.

Purple Foods are “superheroes” of nutrition

Purple foods harbor some of the most royally amazing nutritional benefits possible fit for a king, but are there for each one of us. Imagine a drug that could fight cancer, reduce cholesterol, improve blood sugar and protect against cellular damage that was also safe, without side effects and taste great!

A government report sharing how “nearly 90 percent of Americans don’t eat enough produce from this color family [purple], which is linked to a slew of health benefits, from protecting memory, slowing the aging process and safeguarding your heart, to warding off Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.” This article was written by a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health.

1. Purple foods kill cancer

2. Purple foods are ulcer-fighters

3. Purple foods are good for your liver

4. Purple foods are good for the heart

5. Purple foods prevent urinary tract infections

Many purple foods contain anthocyanidins and anthocyanins:

Anthocyanins are colored water-soluble pigments belonging to the phenolic group. The pigments are in glycosylated forms.   Glycans serve a variety of structural and functional roles in membrane and secreted proteins. It is the enzymatic process that attaches glycans to proteins, lipids, or other organic molecules. Anthocyanins are responsible for the colors, red, purple, and blue, are in fruits and vegetables.  Anthocyanins are particularly found in fruits such as grapes, purple grapes, black berries, strawberries, raspberries and some tropical fruits.  They are powerful antioxidants that also possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. In acidic condition, anthocyanins appear as red but turn blue when the pH increases.  Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigment in the Plant Kingdom that, depending on their pH, may appear red, purple, or blue.  An anthocyanidin is a steroid molecule.  Vacuolar is a small cavity or space in tissue.

Anthocyanins possess the following health benefits:

  • antidiabetic
  • anticancer
  • anti-inflammatory – inflammation is at the root of all major diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and immune dysfunction.
  • antimicrobial
  • anti-obesity effects
  • prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Anthocyanins have been credited with capacity to modulate cognitive and motor function, to enhance memory, and to have a role in preventing age-related declines in neural function.

Anthocyanins have demonstrated marked ability to reduce cancer cell proliferation and to inhibit tumor formation.

Human clinical trials, show that anthocyanidins and anthocyanins possess antioxidative and antimicrobial activities, improve visual and neurological health, and protect against various non-communicable diseases.

  • Purple is associated with calm and relaxing.
  • Purple has the property to restore capillaries.
  • Purple has antibacterial properties to help treat UTI’s.
  • Purple helps with eye strain and prevent deterioration of other eye health issues such as conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma,

Resveratrol

Harvard University scientist and professor David Sinclair is an Australian biologist and Professor of Genetics best known for his research on the biology of lifespan extension and driving research towards treating diseases of aging. A resveratrol formulation that Sinclair became known for making, states resveratrol like: “(It’s) as close to a miraculous molecule as you can find…. One hundred years from now, people will maybe be taking these molecules on a daily basis to prevent heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

  • Resveratrol is typically known as an antioxidant, an anti-cancer agent, and a phytoestrogen.  It is Anti-aging & Anti-cancer effects, Neuroprotective, contributes to heart health, Helps Protect the Brain and Cognitive/Mental Health.
  • Resveratrol is shown to have cancer chemopreventive activity in assays representing three major stages of carcinogenesis.
  • Resveratrol was found to act as an antioxidant and antimutagen
  • Resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decreases the pressure in the arteries and allows better circulation.
  • Resveratrol responds to injury or, when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi.  It helps relax the arterial walls, decrease arterial pressure and promote healthful blood circulation. It has been shown to prevent cancer, lessen inflammation, improve blood sugar control, reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

Betalains

Like anthocyanins, betalains have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Eating more purple food is really critical when it comes to fighting the age process, preventing diseases such as cancer, and also helping to fight inflammation.  It helps relax the arterial walls, decreases arterial pressure and promotes healthful blood circulation. It has been shown to prevent cancer, lessen inflammation, improve blood sugar control, reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels and boosts immunity in healthy middle-aged adults.  Cholesterol levels significantly dropped and the walls of their blood vessels relaxed, to improve circulation and blood flow and reduce stress on the heart. Decreases oxidative stress.

No wonder they are at the top of the list of foods to be consumed for the second year in a row.

https://www.theholisticingredient.com/blogs/wholesome-food/10369150-berry-delicious-ice-cream-with-macadamia-crunchIt helps to have a high-powered blender to make this ‘ice cream’, you will simply need a little more patience without, that’s all. If you are without maqui berry, never fear, it’ll be very scrumptious with blueberries alone.  * Maqui berry can be purchased online or via many health food stores.  Recipe by The Holistic Ingredient.

2 bananas, frozen
1/2 cup blueberries, frozen
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1 heaped tablespoon maqui berry *


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  It shows your interest and curiosity in health.  If you enjoyed this post, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you.  If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on. People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6.  I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.

http://www.botanical-online.com/english/Color_purple_food.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613902/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Science+275%3A218-220%2C+1997.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

https://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/five-health-benefits-of-purple-foods/

Put A Spring In Your Step

Are you ready to feel goofrom head to toe?

What brings a smile to your face?  Does your heart feel full with the beauty of Nature?  Do you enjoy hearing the  melodies of birds that sing?  Do you indulge in the sweet smells of budding flowers?

When I hear the word green I think about life, a fresh new start, healing, and nature.  Spring is the season of resurrection, the period of renewed hope and quickened senses.  Spring gives a man a new sense of life. When the spring comes, life in its tenderest, loveliest, and most delicate forms springs out of the cold and frozen earth.  God speaks to us through the our physical senses.  Spring delights the heart, gratifies the eyes, charms the ears, and excites with its smells. When “Spring has Sprung”  it is the perfect time to create new beginnings in our being about how we might keep an eternal spring in our step.

Just think what goes into the creation of green:  green being created with the combination of yellow and blue. Yellow is happy, warm, cheerful, friendly, and energetic while we find the mental clarity and optimism with the emotional calm of blue.  Yellow’s warming and blue’s cooling effects work together to bring this positive energy.  Green represents life and abundance, growth, hope, harmony and fertility. (Please visit my yellow and blue articles to learn more about these two colors.)

The color green also brings balance, contentment, and stability. Wow! Think of it. This brings a fantastic balance to our bodies which our bodies aim for. Green is Spring! *:) happy Spring brings a fresh new start and a renewing and a restoring of our depleted energy at Winter’s end. When you think of Spring, doesn’t it bring excitement and positive emotions? Green is a natural, serene peacemaker.

Green foods do the same things on a physiological level. Did you know that hyperactive children can benefit from its calming effects, which is sleep-inducing?  Isn’t it wonderful how a color can soothe, relax, brings peace, comfort, and rest by nurturing, calmness and harmony both mentally and physically.

The Healing properties of Green and what they offer.

Green foods are the most vital food of all we eat. Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye than most colors.  Blue comes in second.  It’s a good thing because of how it benefits our lives.  It brings to all areas and functions of the body a wide spectrum of great internal healing power.  Healing with green colored foods is simply using the plants chemical energy. The green color has its own unique chemistry that is very helpful for our entire body’s use.  Green plants contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that help fight disease. These foods are supportive and cleansing and healing. They help to reverse the activity of cells in chaos. Every moment of every day your body regenerates. It changes your atoms and cells and tissues. It is very important to remember that green foods heal and keep your body balanced. Green foods produce healthy cells. Green is full of life.

WHAT IS THE GREEN PIGMENT?

Two different types of chlorophyll (chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b).  It gets its name from the Greek words “chloros” and “phyllon”, which together means “green leaf.” It is liquid “sunshine”.

Chlorophyllis (a), a green pigment found in the leaves of plants, gives foods their green hue. Chlorophyll is good for you because it similar to that of heme in hemoglobin-the oxygen-carrying pigment in your red blood cells. First scientifically identified in the 1850’s, both chlorophyll and the blood are produced through the same metabolic pathway.  The central atom-basic unit of energy in chlorophyll is magnesium instead of iron.  Chlorophyll is fat-soluble and insoluble in water so you need a fat for it to assimilate and work at its best.  So every green smoothie, every salad should have a fatty food like nuts, seeds, or avocados.

Chlorophyllin (b) can neutralize oxidative damage induced by chemical carcinogens and radiation.  After treatment with Chlorophyllin, colon cancer cells are held back.  Chlorophyllin may block the amount absorbed during digestion and help lower your risk of developing cancer.  It has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to reduce the odors of urine and fecal matter intended to improve the quality of life in people who have fecal incontinence due to spinal cord injury, bowel cancer, psychotic disorder, terminal illness, or other disorders. Chlorophyllin has been used orally as an internal deodorant and topically in the treatment of slow-healing wounds for more than 50 years without any serious side effects.

  1. Green is the most restful color for the human eye; and believe or not, it can improve vision because of the hidden lutein (yellow). So, if you want to improve your eye site, green is one big way to go. The yellow color of the human macula lutea (literally, yellow spot) in the retina of the eye results from the hidden lutein and zeaxanthin it contains.
  2. Green leaves withdraw toxins from the cells and help to purify the blood by keeping free-radicals away and blood purifier from germs, bacteria and rotting material.  This leads to detoxifying the skin.  Clean blood does amazing things!
  3. These leafy green vegetables are particularly rich in vitamins B, C and K as well as iron a great blood builder.  Iron also carries much needed Oxygen from our red blood cells to our tissues and muscles.  The darker the leaf, the greater the nutritional value.
  4. The healing properties of green are diverse.  Green affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart. It has both an energizing effect and a moderating or soothing effect, stimulate the circulatory system (Arugula), which includes the heart and its flow through the arms hands, legs, and feet.  The antioxidant beta-carotene and the vitamins C and K help neutralize toxins and remove them from the body.   Arugula strengthen the liver.
  5. Many green foods are rich in isothiocyanates  (pronounced eys-so-thigh-o-sigh-an-ate), a sulphur-containing phytochemical (plant chemical), induce enzymes in the liver that assist the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds by inhibit cancerous cell division and brings about cancerous cell death and stop them dead in their tracks in three different ways: a) They don’t allow carcinogens to be activated by neutralizing them; b) they counteract the poisonous effects of carcinogens that have been activated by reducing their effect; and c) they speed up their removal from the body. Carcinogens are the bad guys of the cancer battle.  Many of these foods are bitter.  If you are a “supertaster” and tend to dislike bitter foods because their tastebuds are more sensitive to them, try to find ways make them more appetizing to you and add power to your plate.

    Spinach: Spinach is considered to be a magic cocktail of all the greens.
    Being a rich source of magnesium it helps to lower stress level by keeping a person in a calm state.

    Broccoli: One of the good mood foods is broccoli which has stress-relieving vitamin B6. It also contains folic acid which is important in fighting depression.  

    Green tea contains L-theanine-a protein, relaxes the brain, thereby reducing stress and anxiety with tranquilizing effects. stimulate the alpha-brain waves and the beta-brain waves are associated with reduction of tension. It also contains an active component, epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) which has been associated with reduced physical and mental fatigue.

     

  6. Green foods rich in Vitamin K help by alkalizing the blood through the production of a hormone that regulates the production of platelets by the bone marrow.  This cures hormonal imbalances, stimulates growth hormone and brings rejuvenation.
  7. Strengthens the nervous system.
  8. As a good side-effect, eliminating the toxic substances of environmental contaminants and ingested pollutants, like heavy metals, radioactive isotopes and pesticides, can help to uplift one’s mood, alleviate depression and promote increased mental focus and clarity.
  9. Naturally, green foods are associated with any kind of cleansing diet.

WOW!  I like that don’t you?

Bottom Line: Chlorophyll is a phytonutrient that oxygenates & detoxifies the blood. It is rich in enzymes and high in amino acids. It alkalizes the body (more on pH here),  is anti-inflammatory and is an antioxidant. It has been shown to repair damaged DNA and speed up the healing process of wounds. Heavy metal chelation is another function of dietary chlorophyll as is the reduction of bad breath. It helps eliminate the odors of the mouth and throat, but more importantly of the digestive tract where bad breath originates.

Top green (Chlorophyll Superstars) that to add spring to your step:   Spirulina, Chlorella, Barley Grass (9.82mg), Oat Grass, Alfalfa Grass, Wheat Grass (70%)

Other top sources on Linus Pauling’s list are:

  • Spinach (23.7 milligrams/cup)
  • Parsley (19 milligrams per 1/2 cup)
  • Garden Cress (15.6 milligrams/one cup)
  • Fresh green beans, arugula and leeks each have (8 milligrams/cup)
  • endive and sugar peas supplies (about 5 milligrams/cup)
  • Chinese Cabbage 4 milligrams/cup

More Chlorophyllin sources include: green peppers, Brussels sprouts, peas, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and cucumbers. High amounts of Chlorophyllin deodorizer are found in cilantro, asparagus, beet greens, green bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, celery, collard greens, cucumbers, green beans, green peas, kale, leeks, mustard greens, green olives, romaine lettuce, green sea vegetables, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip greens can provide you with valuable amounts of chlorophyll.

Not all chlorophyll-containing foods are vegetables, of course. You can find visibly green foods in the nuts and seeds group (for example, pistachio nuts) and also in the fruits group (for example, green grapes or kiwifruit.)

For highest chlorophyll content from the foods you consume, it is best not to prepare them with high heat, but eat them raw or use low-temp steam settings to preserve nutritional quality.

I hope this information brought with it a little courage and a little curiosity to try adding more greens to your day.  What are your thoughts about the color green?  What is your favorite green vegetable, fruit, or herb?  What ways have you discovered to get greens onto your plate for daily consumption?

Putting it all together:  Green is the great harmonizer and balancer.  Allow yourself the pleasure of green consumption on a regular basis, you will be more balanced and relaxed.

Spiritual Insight:  With green that ushers in the new life, I cannot end this writing without remembering what 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  Receiving Christ into your life puts a whole different level of peace, comfort, and rest that nurtures and calms the inner soul.  Nothing else compares to the depth of harmony that Christ Jesus bring to us spiritually, which effects us mentally and physically as well. Psalm 23:2-3 perfectly describes a view we all long for and what can happen when you make Him Lord of your life. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:”  It is my prayer you have found and have embraced this truest form of life for yourself. 

Sources:

  1. The Food Network
  2. Joy Food Cures Life is hard, food should be easy
  3. Phytochemicals
  4. Super Foods

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 – a carotenoid present in the retina of the eye
  • Flavonoids – Latin word flavus meaning yellow, their natural color.
  • Lycopene – a red carotenoid pigment
  • Potassium –  is chemically very similar to sodium, ionic salts providing electric energy.  It is one of the important electrolytes important for our health.  It is also important for pH regulation
  • Vitamin C –  also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid. It is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is important for immune system function. It also functions as an antioxidant.

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”.

A cellular hearing aid

Even though Beta-carotene isn’t a first-line antioxidant, it has other remarkable properties.

  • It stimulates enzymes to repair damaged DNA.
  • It doesn’t discriminately activate all enzymes.
  • It inhibits the rate limiting enzymes and cholesterol synthesis. That’s why it can help reduce cholesterol.
  • It stifles malignancies.  Cells sometimes become alarmed by abnormal replication in a neighboring cell and sends an urgent message to stop dividing. Beta-carotene aids cellular “hearing” by switching on a gene that produces tiny entrances into the cells for smaller messengers from neighboring cells.  Larger messengers are not allowed in.  They have special receptors on the cell surface today dock in.

Alpha-carotene, related to beta-carotene, is 10 times more effective at stopping proliferation of human cancer cells and beta-carotene.

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, terpenoids and apigenin possess antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and antioxidant (sun-protective) 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?

It’s not only the pigments for instance in carrots that fight disease compounds impart flavor.  Not only does this produce a pleasant taste for humans, they fight fungi and tumors as well.  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.
  • good night vision is at tributed to Vitamin A.
  • 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

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.

Power & Passion


serveimage

RED

The color red is a powerful color.  Red is a color of extremes.  It is the color of love and hate.  We blush with embarrassment or get red in the face from increased blood flow when we are angry.  Red is primarily associated with blood. Red is the color of our blood and a vivid reminder of life and death.   It is the universal color for danger.    Red is energizing.  It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. It stimulates the deeper passions within us, such as sex, love, courage, hatred, or revenge.  Can’t you just see the color red in these emotions?  What is the first thing that comes to your mind with the color red?

Our society reflects how the color red stimulates us psychologically.

  • Dominance – athletes wearing a red in combat sports had a bigger chance of winning. Red makes the person feel more aggressive and more powerful, boosting testosterone, but it also changes the perception others have.
  • Danger – Red captures attention. It is one of the most visible colors, second only to yellow – which explains why it is used on fire engines and stop signs to trigger alertness.  No wonder it’s so often used in warning signs.  Red has to do with the body’s fight-or-flight response, so too much red leaves the person feeling not just alert, but also stressed out.
  • Stimulates In light therapy treatment as a holistic or alternative treatment, red is used to stimulate the body and mind.  Wearing red can even change your physiology and balance of hormones.
  • Passion/Love – People wearing red are consistently rated as more attractive by others.  Red is often used to express love, as in Valentine’s Day.  The color red can stimulate the appetite, often being used in restaurants for this purpose. It also increases craving for food and other stimuli.  If you notice this about you, let me know?  Passion, is in all of us!  How do you express yours?
  • Life – Leviticus 17:14 says, For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof:

serveimage-6Things that effect us psychologically are expressed physiologically and visa versa.  Two emotion theories integrate the physiological component: the James-Lange theory of emotion holds that we perceive a stimulus, our body responds, and we interpret the body’s reaction as emotion.  The Cannon-Bard theory suggests that we experience an emotion and bodily changes simultaneously. The amygdala is a part of the brain that controls our experience of fear receives danger information and sends out instructions to prepare the body. The amygdala is involved in memory and it is believed to be an important brain structure in explaining the long-term effects of extreme fear experiences.  The left hemisphere is associated with emotions such as happiness, while the right hemisphere is more linked to emotions such as disgust.  Red relates respectively to the body, the mind, the emotions and the essential balance between these three.

There are a variety of red hues in foods under the chemical pigments Lycopene, Betanin, Anthocyanins that work to benefit us on a physiological level.  

  • Red stimulates the body and mind and to increase circulation. It energizes heart and blood circulation, it builds up the blood and heightens a low blood pressure. Energizes all organs and the senses hearing, smell, taste, vision and touch.
  • Red reduces the risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness for older folks.
  • Red foods help you to shed weight and are active in drawing toxins from the cells. If you are subject to frequent colds and flu or you feel tired and depleted, they will boost your resilience greater protection against heart disease.
  • Vitamin C is found in red foods

One of the red colors in plants is a pigment called Lycopene.  Lycopene is one of over 600 known carotenoids – a color pigment), resized_300x225_lycopene2the color red, is a powerful antioxidant, which means that, among nutrients, it has a greater-than-average ability to “quench” the fiery darts of free radicals that cause damage to cells.

  1. It has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, especially prostate cancer, and protection against heart attacks. Look for tomato-based products for the most concentrated source of this phytochemical.
  2. Red fruits and vegetables are also sources of flavonoids, which reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties.
  3. Antioxidants prevent cancer.  Antioxidants can be vitamins, minerals, or other phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Antioxidants help keep you young and prevent disease.  Antioxidants always work better in combinations.
  4. Lycopene is a fat-soluble carotenoid color, therefore it needs a type of fatty food to eat along with it.  Intake of fat along with carotenoids greatly helps to improve their absorption.  Lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when heated. Lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals. Lycopene does not convert to vitamins A in the body but it is more available to act as a potent antioxidant.
    • Lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when heated. It is tightly bound up in sound walls and fibers
    • Lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals.
    • Lycopene does not convert to vitamins A in the body but it is more available to act as a potent antioxidant.
    • It tends to collect in certain organs of the body: stomach, pancreas, esophagus,: mouth, breast, cervic, lungs, prostate.
    • It has been observed to reduce levels of cancers in these parts of the body.

The terms oxidative stress and free radicals are terms that describe the total burden placed on our bodies from our environment from toxins in air, food, and water.  Substances in our diets (such as vitamin C and vitamin E) can “quench”these flaming darts so that we can cope with the oxidative stress over time.  They help provide longevity.

Betacyanins exist as betanidin, betanin, amaranthin, isobetanin, isobetanidin and iso-amarathin depending upon substituents, position in a molecule chemical compound.

Betanin absorbs well from the gut and acts as an antioxidant. Betanin is usually obtained from the extract of beet juice.  The color of betanin depends on pH; between four and five on the pH scale it is bright bluish-red, becoming blueviolet as the pH increases. Once the pH reaches alkaline levels betanin degrades by hydrolysis, the chemical breakdown of a compound due to reaction with water, resulting in a yellow-brown color. Betanin has nearly no potential as an allergen.  Betalains are water-soluble phytochemicals (plant chemicals) synthesized from amino acid tyrosine.

Betalains  are classified into 2 groups:

1. Betacyanins (RedPinkPurpleViolet)

2. Betaxanthins (Yellow – Orange)

Other dietary sources of betanin and other betalains include the opuntia cactus (round flat cactus), Swiss chard, and the leaves of some strains of amaranth.

Anthocyanidin comes from two Greek words which mean “blue flower”.  In fact, they can be purple (e.g. concord grapes), or even blue (e.g. blueberries). The differences in color are caused by differences in the pH (that is, the acidity/alkalinity) of the plant tissues. But, Anthocyanidin contains two main sugars that produce the red color found in strawberries called pelargonin and cyanidin.  Red is quite acidic.  Since strawberries are somewhat acidic, their anthocyanins, pelargonin and cyanidin reflect red light (the acid in strawberries, at a pH below 3, gives them their sourness), whereas the more alkaline fruit of blueberries causes their anthocyanins to reflect blue light (the alkalinity of a blueberry’s skin, pH higher than 11, is what makes it slightly bitter-tasting). Anthocyanins are also a good source of tannins, which prevent bacteria from attaching to cells,” says Kasik-Miller of more reasons to relish red.  Tannins are astringent or boldly bitter in flavor. Their main characteristic is that they bind and precipitate proteins. They can have a large influence on the nutritive value of many foods

Here is a small list of Red Food Sources and their health benefits from the red in them:  (please be sure to complete the poll at the end)

  1. serveimage-7Cherries fight inflammation
  2. serveimage-8Pomegranates help to reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure
  3. serveimage-9Beets for 19% of the growth of healthy new cells
  4. serveimage-10Red chiles an antioxidant in chiles protect blood vessels and  increases the body’s metabolic rate and may stimulate brain chemicals that help us feel less hungry
  5. serveimage-11Red peppers – fight bacteria
  6. serveimage-12Tomatoes rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that fights skin aging and may be beneficial against cancer and heart disease.
  7. serveimage-13Watermelon An enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is a muscle relaxant. For example, when nitric oxide (NO) tells the smooth muscles around our blood vessels to relax, the space inside our blood vessels can expand, allowing blood to flow more freely and creating a drop in blood pressure
  8. serveimage-14Apples – combat free-radical damage to artery walls
  9. serveimage-15Cranberries have anthocyanins, not lycopene – prevent yeast infections in some women.
  10. serveimage-16Kidney beans – combat free-radical damage to artery walls
  11. serveimage-17Strawberries – reduce the risk of cancer, antioxidants in strawberry may also help to retard aging of the brain, and is an effective dental cleaner
  12. serveimage-18Red raspberries – protect against heart disease and age-related mental decline. Eating red raspberries may prevent cancer by inhibiting the abnormal division of cells and promoting the normal death of healthy cells.
  13. serveimage-19Guava – lycopene found in pink-fleshed guavas may further reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and protective effect against exercise-induced asthma
  14. Pink and serveimage-20Ruby Red Grapefruit – responsible for disease and age-related cell damage.
  15. serveimage-21Red grapes – resveratrol results in a dramatic reduction in heart-attack risk factors.

Have you noticed the most the red foods deal with the blood.  Life is in the blood.  Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood:…”

How much life in these red hued fruits and vegetables is a part of your diet?

Putting it all together:  The color red is the color of energy, passion, and action.  Red is a warm and positive color associated with our will to survive.  It also stands to reason that since red is primarily associated with blood that it would be closely linked with our most physical need for heart protection, to cardiovascular health, and to protecting us on the deepest cellular levels.  Red is life or death.  Which will you choose?  Life is truly in the blood.

the_blood_of_jesusOn a Spiritual note:  Red is known as the color of passion and action.  The creator of red displayed the ultimate passion and action through His love on the cross.  His cleansing blood was given for all mankind once and for all.  Romans 5:9 shares “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”  If you have not already given your life to Him, it is not too late.  Will you let Jesus stimulate your heart into action by trusting him with it and live with him throughout eternity?  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only b
egotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

Make it your mission in life to not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Remember you cannot do this with Jesus the true life-giver.  John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:…” 

Sources:

  1. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml
  2. http://www.antioxidants-for-health-and-longevity.com/benefits-of-vitamin-e.html
  3. http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2011/02/10/eating-by-color-red/
  4. http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/guava-fruit-superfood.php
  5. http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072937769/student_view0/chapter11/index.html
  6. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx

Be Cool with Blue

a92df2c66e194396a01a3928baab57fbThe Color Psychology of Blue

Although it is often overlooked and often unappreciated, colors play a very big part in our life.  God has truly blessed us with color and for good reason.  Before I deal with how the color blue benefits us physically, I would like to touch on how the color blue effects behavior.

  1. The color blue symbolizes qualities such as depth, stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, heaven, tranquillity, calmness, and sincerity.
  2. Blue conveys a subtle connotation of importance and confidence and is associated with intelligence, stability, unity, and conservatism.

Blue is one of the most popular colors with both male and female alike, but it is one of the least appetizing colors.  We aren’t generally attracted to blue foods.  Some weight loss plans even recommend eating your food off of a blue plate because interestingly some believe blue suppresses one’s appetite. Blue rarely occurs naturally in food aside from blueberries and some plums.  If you are trying to lose some weight, and try the blue plate method and it works, let me know.  Another way is to just use a smaller plate.

Physiological & Physical Benefits:

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  • Blue can also lower the pulse rate and body temperature.  As a collective color, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that sooth and calm the senses. Peacefulness and tranquility are qualities of blue that causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms.
  • Blue tends to regulate your cortisol and adrenoline levels that activate fight and flight response and may help you recover from stress more quickly.  Each individual has his/her own level of stress tolerance. When stress acts as a positive motivating force it is termed eustress. When it acts as a negative force it is termed distress. Stress only becomes a problem when it is chronic or severe. Stress plays a very crucial role in a multitude of negative human health behaviors. Chronic stress tends to erode coping mechanisms.
  • The blue/purple hues in foods are due primarily to their anthocyanin content. The darker the blue hue, the higher the phytochemical concentration.  Anthocyanins are antioxidants that are particularly heart healthy and may help support healthy blood pressure. Anthocyanins that give fruits their distinctive colors that may help ward off heart disease by preventing clot formation. They may also help lower risk of cancer.
  • Blue was believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain.
  • Blue promotes the healing of burns and wounds.

What is the Blue color?

food-sources-anthocyanins-gnowfglins-blueAnthocyanins (also anthocyans; from Greekἀνθός (anthos) = flower + κυανός (kyanos) = blue) are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH.  Their purpose is to isolating materials that might be harmful or a threat to the cell by participating in the destruction of invading bacteria.  Vacuole are essentially enclosed compartments within a cell that are filled with water containing inorganic and organic molecules including enzymes in solution, though in certain cases they may contain solids which have been engulfed.  Anthocyanins play a role in the colors of ripening fruit.

Anthocyanins have been shown to act as a “sunscreen”, protecting cells from high-light damage by absorbing blue-green and ultraviolet light, thereby protecting the tissues from high-light stress.  They are found mostly in flowers and fruits but also in leaves, stems, and roots.

Antioxidants protect cells from damage and have important disease-fighting compounds. Antioxidants are actually powerful buffers to the unwanted various chemical reactions that occur in the human body.  Scientists believe they help prevent and repair the stress that comes from oxidation, a natural process that occurs during normal cell function.  They may help reduce risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.

On the Antioxidant Color Wheel, the purple-blue-red-orange spectrum is home to the most antioxidant-rich fruits.  Wild blueberries are the winner overall. Just one cup has 13,427 total antioxidants – vitamins A & C, plus flavonoids (types of antioxidants) like quercetin – a flavonoid (plant pigment) – and anthocyanidin.

Quercetin Supports:

  1. Normal Respiratory Health – When your respiratory system is irritated, redness and swelling can result from the release of histamines, and quercetin has been reported to have an antihistamine effect. Lab tests have shown quercetin influences intracellular enzymes and may help inhibit histamine release.
  2. Cardiovascular Health – First, it encourages blood flow.  Secondly, researchers have observed that quercetin’s antioxidant action protects against LDL cholesterol oxidation.
  3. Balances Blood Pressure – quercetin naturally promotes balanced blood pressure.
  4. Protection Against Stress – when your stress levels are high and ongoing, cortisol can damage muscle tissue, leading to protein breakdown in the body, quercetin can fight these effects during times of extended stress as it suppresses the enzyme necessary for cortisol release.
  5. Upper Respiratory Conditions – quercetin caused a relaxation of the airway smooth muscle, leading researchers to suggest it may offer therapeutic solutions for persons suffering from upper respiratory conditions.

Resveratrol – is a polyphenolic/antioxidant compound is primarily found in the skin of grapes.  It directly up-regulates the tissue that forms a single layer of cells lining various organs and cavities of the body, esp. the blood vessels, heart, and lymphatic vessels in original cells.

  1. This nutrient relaxes blood vessels that increase the diameter of blood vessels and also dilutes the blood.  This helps increases the blood flow through blood vessels smoothly towards the heart.  There is extensive epidemiological evidence suggesting that dietary intake of these compounds reduces cardiovascular mortality.  Studies show inhibition of platelet aggregation.  High Resveratrol provides grapes anti-cancer property. This powerful antioxidant plays a protective role against cancers of colon and prostate, coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/ fungal infections. It contains anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin compounds that inhibit the growth of cancer cell.
  2. It offers protection against disease, especially fungal infections.  Research shows that resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.  In recent studies, scientists found that resveratrol may stimulate the expression of adiponectin (a hormone shown to possess anti-obesity properties and fight insulin resistance.). Obesity, too, makes you prone to inflammation, as fat cells churn out inflammatory proteins called cytokines “cyto” meaning cell and “kinos” meaning movement, are (proteins with a sugar attached) that alter the immune system response.
  3. High Resveratrol provides anti-cancer properties. This powerful antioxidant plays a protective role against cancers of colon and prostate, coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/ fungal infections. It helps inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  4. Suppresses cancerous cell’s power of division and growth.  One study shows resveratrol helped prevent estrogen from reacting with DNA molecules and forming compounds that mark the start of cancer cell formation for genetic influences.
  5. Stimulates Mitochondria activity where biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occurs.
  6. Resveratrol reduces stroke risk by altering the molecular mechanisms inside the blood vessels. It does so, firstly by reducing the susceptibility of blood vessel through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would otherwise elevate blood pressure) and secondly, through a beneficial compound that causes relaxation of blood vessels)
  7. Keeping your heart healthy and improving elasticity in your blood vessels
  8. Normalizing your anti-inflammatory response decreasing system inflammation
  9. Helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Loss of cognition as we age is not normal. Our brain is highly susceptible to the damaging effects of inflammation, free radicals and insulin resistance.

Putting it all together:  Although Blue is not a bright cheery color, the color blue has positive effects on the mind and the body. Blue can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming and offer a tranquility of the spirit and encourages rest.

On a spiritual note:  12061175c8ff5a31b29dd18d08d7728aWe have talked about how blue provides us with a calming and restful presence that soothes and can cause the body to be at peace.  The creator of blue knew what He was doing for our physical need.  John 14:27 (KJV) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  The only way to find true peace is through Jesus Christ.  He is the Prince of Peace.

My prayer for you is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 – Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord [be] with you all.

Plants rich in anthocyanins are: blueberry, cranberry, bilberry, Rubus berries, black raspberry, red raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry, eggplant peel, black rice, Concord grape, muscadine grape, red cabbage, and violet petals.

How does the color blue make you feel?  Do you like blue foods?  Which ones?

If you appreciated this information, share it with others.

Sources:

Global Healing Center

 

How Color Affects Us

syn_sensory-inputThe Language of Color

Did you know that color has a language all of its own?  Color has a profound effect on the mind and behavior and body.  All color is energy and it has a physical effect on us.  The reactions to color can be predicted with startling accuracy.  Depending on our personality type, there is a potential effect towards positive or negative psychologically.

This question pertains to the condition known as synesthesia. This condition describes how our senses work together. For example – with respect to sight, taste and smell – seeing a color may evoke any number of other sensations.  Color plays a multitude of roles in the natural world, used to entice, to camouflage, or to warn other creatures. Colors signal harvest time, breeding conditions, and the change of seasons, from the first greens of spring to the brilliant, beautiful reds and browns of the fall.  Each sense has a pathway to the brain.  These paths are parallel to each other as you can see from the illustration.  Flavonoids are incredible sensory chemicals.  Just as flavonoids are not just for the attraction of insects, they also send signals to us.  Green may bring strong images or memories of the smell of grass, lemon yellow may recall a sour taste. Pink may convey sweetness and so on.

In this series, we will explore the effects that color has on us and how each sense and its pathway to the brain is involved and interconnected and how it communicates messages to us on a psychological and physical level.

On a psychological level – brain-happy-chemicalsColor plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. Color can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite. When used in the right ways, color can even save on energy consumption.  As a powerful form of communication, color is irreplaceable. Red means “stop” and green means “go.”  Brain chemistry is only now being understood to a greater level.  There is a dance of neurotransmitters and hormones inside your body determine the bulk of your moods and personal satisfaction. As a society we’ve gradually shut down the production of these substances with our diet and lifestyle choices. The result has been a dramatic increase in depression, eating disorders, suicide rates, substance abuse, and general unhappiness that affects every part of your daily life.

On a physical level:  1a361f64fb6e97b67f2ad8f1853efd0aHave you noticed the central role food plays in your life? From the time we are born, we develop a deep association linking food with emotions.  We move through life linking food to emotions. We celebrate holidays, weddings, graduations, and promotions with food.  We use food to express, suppress, and deal with love and we drown our sorrows and many other emotions. Food powers your life. It fuels all bodily processes that enables you to move, think, and breathe. There is no aspect of your life that is not influenced by what you eat.  Consider how strength, agility, coordination, endurance, speed and level of performance are all powered by the foods you eat. Natural food gives natural energy.  What you eat determines how you tackle your daily physical activities, including housework, your job, school, homework, shopping, caring for a family and exercise.  Eating healthy enables body movements to be executed with ease. A poor diet with unhealthy food choices can make each movement a major effort filled with stress, strain, and pain.  Which lifestyle sounds like the way you would like to live?  It isn’t easy to change the habits of lifestyle.  We sometimes need help.  Jumpstart your health with a good supplement of your choice.  Just make sure it is a good, reliable brand.

Color Affects Taste and Smell.  Nature has a clever way to highlight the nutrients in foods: different nutrients actually impart different colors to the foods they’re in and as they ripen they produce a scent.  Just the sight of food fires neurons in the hypothalamus, the front part of the brain that coordinates both the autonomic nervous system and the activity of the pituitary, controlling body temperature, thirst, hunger, and other homeostatic systems, and involved in sleep and emotional activity.  If you ask my daughter, my shopping partner, how she would describe her grocery shopping experience with me, she would probably elaborate on my attention given to this one small area of the store with all of the brilliant colors in the fruits and vegetables in the produce section.  I spend most of my time there salivating with excitement on the experience I will have in eating these bright-colored foods.  The sense of life drops considerably when proceeding to the other areas of the store.  Are you drawn to certain colored foods?   

Pigmentation in Plants th-10

In plants, these substances provide pigmentation and help filter UV rays. They also help protect the plants from microbe, fungus, and insect attacks; and help plants survive frost and droughts. Additionally, they help promote or inhibit the growth of certain plant parts, including seeds and pollen tubes, and are used as chemical signals to tell plant cells when to stop or start doing things.  Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects.  They are essential pigments for producing the colors needed to attract pollinating insects.  These biological pigments are pigments produced by living organisms. They can be found in many plants, including flowers and even in our skinBacteria are colored by pigments. All biological pigments selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light while reflecting others.

Color arises frcb44cdb9ab9c2fe681a397607b3e5c17om the way the pigments react with light.  Biological pigments in plants exist in a wide variety of forms, some with highly complex and large structures. Over 600 naturally occurring carotenoid structures have been identified, as well as over 7,000 flavonoids, including over 500 anthocyanins.

I am excited to raise a whole new appreciation for our colorful world and all of its bounty and benefits.  All color comes from light.  Consider where the light comes from.  From the word of this light, all of creation and its beauty was made.  Genesis 1:3, 31 says. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light…31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Sources:

  1. Color Matters
  2. Causes of Color
  3. Daily Super Food Love

Yellow, The Vision Vitamin

I start this Color Me Beautiful series with the color yellow.

Yellow is the most visible color and is the first color the human eye notices!  Yellow’s stimulating nature and high visibility to the eye is the reason why many road signs are bold yellow (contrasted by black text).  This is another reason why restaurants use the color yellow in their signs.  It is known to stimulate appetite and triggers the feelings of happiness and friendliness, warm like the sun.  Maybe this is why we feel so good when the sun is out.

th-9Likewise, I hope this Color Me Beautiful series stimulates you to introduce and increase your plate with more of the colors of the rainbow.
Imagine with me why certain fast food places use yellow and red colors;  Take Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s, Burger King and the other fast food establishments in the image on the left for instance.  These colors are just one marketing ploy that are eye-catching and get your attention to roll in to their establishment for that quick fast food.  Why not stick with real fast yellow food?  Here are some really good reasons why?

Yellows come from The Latin word Lutein lutes means “yellow”.

This plant chemical is geared to protect the eyes by modulating light energy.  The yellow color of the human macula lutea (literally, yellow spot) in the retina
(from Latin rēte, meaning “net”) of the eye is the third and inner coat of the eye which is a light-sensitive layer of tissue. results from the lutein and zeaxanthin it contains.

Lutein nicknamed “the eye vitamin,” is a carotenoid antioxidant phytonutrient (plant nutrient), which ranges from yellow to red pigments.  It is an essential nutrient for normal vision.

Eye protection – The central part of the retina, called the macula, contains macular pigments in which lutein is concentrated. The yellow coloured pigments protect the retina from damage of the photo-oxidative affect of high-energy light.

Heart health – Lutein can also reduce the risk for artery diseases. Studies have shown that persons with the highest lutein intake showed the lowest artery wall thickening.

Skin protection – Lutein can also reduce the risk of skin cancer and sunburn.

Digestion – Yellow foods are associated with digestion.  Proper digestion allows for the absorption and assimilation of nutrients, so your body can function and carry out the countless chemical reactions it needs to on an ongoing basis. Nutrients from foods you eat provide your body with the energy it needs to run, walk, eat, breathe, and read these words. When the process of digestion is impaired, nutrient imbalance and deficiency can result, leaving your body without the fuel it needs to function properly. Over time, there can be downstream effects of ill health such as lowering your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, constipation, and colon cancer..

Carotene is a pigment that absorbs blue and indigo light, and that provides rich yellows and oranges.

benefits-of-lutein-and-zeaxanthinLutein and Zeaxanthin (fat soluble) are carotenoids that are found in relatively high concentrations in the retina.  Lutein’s yellow color blocks blue (UV) light from absorption.  Because the macula is yellow in colour it absorbs excess blue and ultraviolet light that enter the eye, and acts as a natural sunblock (analogous to sunglasses) for this area of the retina.  Both Lutein and Zeaxanthin helps protect the eye from ultra-violet (UV) damage, and prevents free-radical damage to the retina and the lens of the eye that is associated with diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.  Studies have also indicated that lutein improves heart health, protects our skin against UV damage, reduces diabetes induced oxidative stress, and possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the liver, ovaries, pancreas, kidneys, spleen, testes, adrenals, and many eye tissues.

002f0eccb487f585c82aa61ff8e6be0cYellow foods are commonly considered the eyesight foods because they contain vitamin A. Beta-carotene, which can be converted into vitamin A, is a component of these foods as well.   Since eyesight is dependent on the presence of vitamin A, it is considered the “vision vitamin.”  Our eyes use the yellow pigment lutein as an antioxidant, especially in the macula, in the center of the retina at the back of the eye contains a lot of lutein.  This protects the eyes from the UV sunlight rays.    It also also seems to lower the risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).  Vitamin A also help strengthen your immune system and prevent infections like the common colds. Moreover, this nutrient is also one of the best substances that can help you age gracefully.  In addition, they may have high levels of vitamin C, and some contain omega-3 fatty acids according to Kasik-Miller, a clinical dietitian at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

…Natural Sunblock (think yellow/orange-red like the sun) The yellow pigment, lutein, is also known to absorb excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from too much sunlight.  Our skin uses the yellow pigment lutein to recharge the antioxidants that protect the glands that make the oily lubricant that keeps the skin supple and wrinkle-free.  If we consume our leafy greens and other yellow pigment foods, these protective antioxidants protect our skin from oxidative damage.  This is why our ancestors most likely did not use sunscreen lotions.  Antioxidants reduce the risk of many health problems associated with aging, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, cataracts and macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others.

Avoid-sunburn-and-tan-more-easily-by-eating-real-food
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Sunlight is very important for our skin.  Americans tend to be deficient in Vitamin D3 because we are inside more than we are outside. Please visit my Vitamin D Council board for more information about this topic.  Americans are also afraid of the sun lathering up with all those sun screens.  If we are wise and respect the power of the sun, there is no need to buy all those chemically filled sunscreens that short-circuit the benefits of the suns rays that create an atmosphere that brings damage to the skin.  Here are other sunscreen options.

Yellow appears to have important antioxidant functions in the body including vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin E that guard the body from damaging effects that can destroy cells and play a role in many diseases

….Yellow was thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body in light therapy treatment.

…The cream to light yellow crystalline solid (Ellagic Acid) may help protect against cancer by neutralizing the cancer- causing chemicals.  Surprisingly, Ellagic Acid is hidden under the red color of a number strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranates.  It also helps by reducing DNA damage and helps regulate blood sugar response.  But studies of this acid have mainly been done in the laboratory, so its benefits for human health is an unknown.
Yellow lutein may help protect against atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in arteries), the disease that leads to most heart attacks.
Yellow lutein is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties. It’s known to reduce oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals in various organs, including your skin.
Yellow (under the color green) ~ Lutein

Another interesting fact about yellow is how it is hidden under the top layers of green serveimage-39in your leafy greens – they have 15-47% of lutein, but a very low content (0-3%) of zeaxanthin.  This is why we get the different colors of tree leaves in the fall.  This means that those leafy greens also contain this yellow pigment to bring you all of the great benefits of this beautiful nutrient.  The body cannot absorb lutein without the help of fat, so when eating your leafy green salads or smoothies, include a type of fat like Avocado, coconut oil, or a nut of your choice.

Zeaxanthin – xanthin, a yellow coloring carotenoid present in the retina of the eye and in many plants.

The two major carotenoids in the human macula and retina are lutein and zeaxanthin.  In our periphery vision, Zeaxanthin declines more rapidly than lutein.

On a Spiritual note:  There exists an old saying in American culture: “The eyes are a window to the soul.”  Matthew 6:22 (KJV) says, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”

Let your eyes feast on this yellow that can trigger the feelings of happiness and friendliness, warmth like the sun.

serveimage-38Take care in what you allow your eyes to see.  May the light of the Lord’s words help you to be a light bringing sunshine to someone else as Matthew 5:16 (KJV) says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Yellow Fruits & Vegetables and some quantities of either Lutein or Zeaxanthin or both:

 

  1. Yellow bell peppers – low amount of lutein (12%) but no Zeaxanthin. The highest amount of Zeaxanthin (8% Lutein 37% Zeaxanthin = 45% total) was found in Orange Peppers.  
  2. Yellow zucchini (or vegetable marrow – 30-52%) These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals
  3. Yellow tomatoes (39%-sun dried)
  4. Maize (Sweet corn) – (60% of lutein and 25% of zeaxanthin)
  5. Bananas – the banana skin contains lutein.  Some people prefer to boil the peel for 10 minutes or so before eating it, putting it through a juicer or blending it with other fruits. In Asian countries, banana peels are cooked with their flesh or fried on their own.  Banana peels are packed full of serotonin which boosts your mood and helps you feel happy. Some studies have shown that in just three days, eating 2 banana peels can raise your serotonin level by nearly 15%. Plus, the banana peel can help you sleep easier because of the tryptophan found in it. Tryptophan is the sleep-inducing amino acid.  Bananas contain pectins and fructooligosaccharides(FOS). Pectins have been studied for their effects on blood sugar levels, and FOS is a prebiotic that provides food for the healthy bacteria in your lower intestine.

6. Lemon (10.344ug) – lutein may help protect against atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in arteries), the disease that leads to most heart attacks.

7. Squash – (2401.3μg/1 cup) listed in the top ten for lutein and zeaxanthin

8. Grapefruit (10.169ug)

9. Mellon – 27.058ug honeydue; 26.25ug cantalope

10. Apples with skin (28.985ug)

11. Pears – (78.32 mcg)

12. Pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic substance that breaks down proteins, and it therefore can aid in digestion.  Look for pineapples that are heavy for their size, free of soft spots, bruises, and darkened areas, and they should have a fragrant, sweet smell at the stem.

NOTE: BEST FOODS FOR LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN: (As noted above, green leafy foods surprisingly contain these beneficial nutrients)  

Kale, spinach (47 mole% lutein), Swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens, beet greens, radicchio, summer squash (all varieties), watercress, green peas, persimmons, winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.), pumpkin, broccoli (22 mole%), brussels sprouts (27 mole%), lettuce (22 mole% – especially dark lettuces), asparagus, corn, green beans, okra, artichokes, green bell peppers.