However much I’ve tried to deny it, winter is officially in full swing here in France. The temperatures are dropping, Christmas lights are turned on, and the winter coat is making its debut. Sounds wonderful and charming, right? Well, not entirely.
Since I work in a middle school, the winter season also means kids have started getting sick. Because, for some reason which I will never be able to understand, they don’t always wash their hands (and when they do, soap is often not involved), the school is an infestation of adolescent germs which sure puts a bit of a damper on the Christmas spirit.
To keep up my immune system, I try to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow (or almost all) by preparing plant-based meals filled with high-vibrational foods. The prospect of getting sick and having to go to a French doctor is NOT something I want to deal with, so loading up on nature’s superfoods is the way to go. I have a feeling Hippocrates was on to something when he said…
“Let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food.”
According to EatingWell.com, different nutrients impart different colors to the foods they are in. For immune system support, orange foods reign supreme.
“Alpha and beta carotene make foods like carrots and sweet potatoes so brilliantly orange. The body converts these compounds into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. These phytochemicals also operate as antioxidants, sweeping up disease-promoting free radicals.”
Carrots and sweet potatoes aren’t the only stand-outs, however. Other foods, such as apricots, oranges, pumpkin, tangerines, and winter squash also boast similar health benefits.
When it comes to colors besides orange, the benefits are just as numerous.
- Deep red and purple foods such as eggplant, berries, cranberries, plums, and radishes are chock full of antioxidants to keep the heart and brain healthy.
- Green cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage contain compounds to help prevent cancer by speeding up the production of enzymes to clear toxins from the body.
- Red foods such as tomatoes, peppers, and grapefruit contain phytochemicals to help protect against prostate and breast cancers.
Here’s a peek at my latest colorful creations on Instagram: