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What color is your diet?

What color is your diet by David Heber and Susan Bowerman

After reading this book Smoothie making was so much easier absolutely no brain work....
This book is excellent in regards to enforcing the importance of consuming wide variety of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet. We are well aware of the fact that our diet should include rainbow colored fruits and vegetables but the way this fact is stressed in ‘What color is your diet’ is splendid. Author has divided all fruits and vegetables in 8 color groups and explained their importance in very appealing way.

Red Group
Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon all contain lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, especially ones derived from oxygen. Lycopene may help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.

Red/Purple Group
Grapes, red wine, Grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples contain anthocyanin, which is powerful antioxidant. Anthocyanin has beneficial effect on heart disease by inhibiting blood clot formation.

Orange group
Carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe, pumpkins, acorn squash, winter squash and sweet potato contain alpha and beta-carotene. From information provided by Mayo clinic Alpha, beta, and gamma carotene are considered pro-vitamins because they can be converted to active vitamin A. The carotenes possess antioxidant properties. Vitamin A serves several biological functions including involvement in the synthesis of certain glycoproteins.

Orange yellow group
Orange juice, tangerine, peaches, papayas, and nectarines provide Beta-cryptothanxin. It helps in cancer prevention and targets prevention of heart disease.

Yellow-green group
Spinach, Collard, mustard and turneep greens, yellow corn green peas, avocado and honey dew melon provides lutein and zeaxanthin. They are good for eyes and contribute to eye health.

Green group
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choi, kale provides sulphoraphane, isothiocyanate and indoles which stimulate the genes in liver to turn on production of enzyme that break down the cancer causing chemicals in the body.

White-green group
Garlic, onions, celery, pears, white wine, endive and chives – contains antioxidant allicin, which has shown to have anti tumor effects. They also contain flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol.

Apart from these color groups author has provided some interesting facts about few herbs.

Mint – Peppermint aids digestion by relaxing the sphincter muscle between esophagus and stomach, relaxing trapped gas after a big meal. It can be used as a garnish and flavoring drinks, soups, salads and desserts.

Parsley – Used as a garnish and flavorings for sauces and soups. Parsley is rich source if vitamin C and can be used to cover up the flavor of garlic.

Rosemary – Rosemary has distinctive taste due to its content of phytochemical called ‘carnosic acid’. This phytochemical has been shown in laboratory experiment to combine with other phytochemical such as lycopene from tomatoes to kill cancer.

Thyme – A Solution of thymes most active ingredient thymol is used in cough drops and vapor rub for colds. It can also be used in soups and sauces.

Authors have also included discussion on nuts; following are some highlights:
There is definitely no doubt that nuts can be fattening. They are high in calories and fats, more than 75% of calories from nuts are from fats. Most of the fats in nuts is mono saturated and poly saturated. However, in countries where nuts are major part of diet, it tends to e rich in plant foods and low in calories, unlike in American diet where high fat, high calorie and processed food rules. Best way to incorporate nuts in an American diet is to substitute them for something else rather then simply adding them to the regular diet.

Some nuts are good source of thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, zinc and folate and excellent source of selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese and vitamin E. Plant compound ‘flavonoids’ is found in all nuts. This powerful antioxidant helps reduce the formation of substance in the body that may contribute to cancer or cardiovascular disease. Relative to their size nuts are also among the best plant source of protein. Walnuts and Almonds are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids but beware of too much of good thing.

Overall book is extremely informative and useful.