Just in case you were getting bored we’re starting the week with an Explosion of Color!!! Day 9 of the Daniel Fast finds us exploring the colorful world of fruits & veggies and the nutrients they provide. Fruits and vegetables generally contain little fat, cholesterol or sodium and provide complex carbohydrates, fiber vitamins. Most are low in calories, and they contain natural sugar, as opposed to refined sugar. Different colors indicate different nutrient profiles, so its good to focus on getting a little of each color in your diet every day to maximize the nutritional benefits. Let’s start with Red, Orange, Yellow, Green.
Red fruits and vegetables, such as raspberries, tomatoes, guava, watermelon, red cabbage, kidney beans, cherries, strawberries and beets, are likely to be rich in the antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanins, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A medium raw tomato provides 3.2 micrograms of lycopene, a carotenoid that helps your body make vitamin A. Although there is no set daily value for lycopene, MayoClinic.com recommends getting 2 to 30 milligrams per day.
There are so many Orange & Yellow Fruits and Veggies such as Yellow apples, Apricots, Butternut squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Grapefruit, Lemons, Mangoes, Nectarines, Oranges, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Yellow peppers, Persimmons, Pineapple, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Yellow summer or winter squash, Sweet corn, Sweet potatoes, Tangerines, Yellow tomatoes, and Yellow watermelon???(have to try that) just to name a few. These fruits & veggies are rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to into vitamin A, a nutrient that not only improves night vision, but also helps keep your skin, teeth and bones healthy. Yellow fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function.
Last but not least we have the Green Fruits and Veggies. Green apples, Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Green beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Green cabbage, Cucumbers, Green grapes, Honeydew melon, Kiwi, Lettuce, Limes, Green onions, Peas, Green pepper, Spinach, Zucchini and much more. Green vegetables are good for your eyes, bones and teeth. These foods contain antioxidant vitamins, particularly vitamins C and E, and may lower your risk of chronic diseases. The leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.
Colorful Veggie Stir Fry
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
10 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/4″ thick slices
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 pound leafy greens (bok choy, collard green)
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1 sweet red 1 yellow,1 orange pepper, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Heat wok until it smokes, then add coconut oil, and allow to heat thirty seconds more, until the oil shimmers with movement. Add the onion and stir fry about a minute, until it begins to take on color. Add the mushrooms, and continue stir frying. When the mushrooms shrink, after about a minute, add the garlic, soy sauce and honey and stir fry for about another thirty seconds. Add the leafy greens. broccoli, and peppers and the broth or stock, and stir fry for another thirty seconds. Add the oyster sauce and stir fry to combine thoroughly and to heat it through. Remove from heat and drizzle with sesame oil, giving the dish a final stir before scooping it onto a heated platter and serving with steamed brown rice or gluten free whole grain noodles. Enjoy. For dessert add a fruit salad maybe some pineapple, strawberries, tangerines and green grapes topped with a little almond yogurt.
Tomorrow we’ll explore the other colors of the veggie rainbow. KEEP GOING!!! Be Well.