Color Code Your Vegetables
What a Painter’s Palette of Vegetables Can Do for You
by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN
|Fresh, colorful vegetables: dark green and leafy; red, ripe, and juicy; or bright orange and crunchy. This exquisite rainbow-colored cornucopia is truly the class of foods that keeps our arteries healthy and clean. Head for your green grocer and harness the phenomenal medicinal power of natural plant compounds. Buy them fresh, buy them often, and fill your body with a spectrum of healthy colors, nature’s medicine chest.
Studies show that heart disease death rate drops with each added vegetable serving!
|I like to paint the colors of health by classifying and color coding vegetables into six colors, divided depending on their individual high concentration of phytochemicals (plant warriors against free radical destruction).
Here are the 6 categories:
1. Dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as spinach & broccoli
Vegetables are chock full of myriad polyphenols (the major disease-battling phytochemical), so be sure to tap into the miraculous healing power of plants. Consuming greens and other colorful vegetables throughout the day will boost your heart disease defense system by:
|One additional advantage of frequent consumption of vegetables is that they are the perfect diet food — loaded with nutrients but very low in calories. Hence, eating your daily vegetable prescription will also help you control your weight, and being overweight is another major risk factor that ups your odds of a heart attack.
Here are a few ideas for getting colorful vegetables into your daily eating plan:
|You may be surprised at how some dishes truly come alive with the addition of this painter’s palette of health. A few of the recipes I include in Prevent a Second Heart Attack that feature greens and other vegetables are Chef Mario Spina’s Braised Broccoli Rabe, Chef Julie Korhumel’s Linguine with Fresh Garden Vegetables, Dr. Janet’s Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins and Dr. Janet’s Roasted Red Pepper Strips. All are sure to please the palate — and your heart health.
|Janet Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN, is a leading diet, nutrition, and fitness expert. She is the author of Prevent a Second Heart Attack and Cholesterol Down. Learn more at www.drjanet.com.
Dr. Janet’s Roasted Red Pepper Strips
A quick and easy method for roasting red peppers. These are delicious in Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Tuna Romesco, and Whole-grain Pasta with Roasted Eggplant, Olives, and Tomatoes found in Prevent a Second Heart Attack.
4 large red peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss red pepper strips with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes or until peppers are softened and starting to turn dark around the edges. Store refrigerated.
NUTRITION per 1/2 cup serving:
Fat: 11 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, <1 gALA)
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 294 mg
Carbohydrate: 10 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 2 g
Excerpted with permission from Prevent a Second Heart Attack
by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN ©2/2011.