By Denisa Ratulea of Second Nature.
Earlier this year when I was recovering from my spinal surgery, all I could dream of were yellow and orange coloured smoothies and lots of orange fruits, like papaya, mango, peaches, oranges, grapefruits etc. The reason? The beta carotene present in these gets converted into Vitamin A, which is important for good skin and bone health. And since I had a BIG scar across my entire back and a pierced spine to heal, it only seemed legit to crave what I needed in order for that to happen swiftly. Aren’t our bodies amazing?
There is a lot of research coming out at the moment around the way our genes can be turned on and off through the lifestyle choices we make. The other night I’ve watched a program on BBC about that and the conclusion is simple: making better choices for what we eat can keep dormant cancer cells under control and prevent them from becoming active.
It’s quite sad that most of the diseases affecting people in the western world are lifestyle ones, which can be prevented and managed through a cleaner, more natural diet. That’s something we can contribute to by making healthier choices ourselves and lead by example.
So, today, I’m focusing on yellow and orange foods! While we should eat a variety of colours and keep the rainbow going, sometimes our bodies require a specific type of foods and they know what’s best for us!
7 reasons to eat more Yellow & Orange foods:
1. They are rich in vitamin C! Our immunity’s best friend, Vitamin C helps strengthen it and also promotes collagen formation, rebuilds depleted collagen in skin, and protects against cardiovascular issues.
2. They have antioxidants, which protect the body from damaging molecules called free radicals. Free radicals damage cells through a process known as oxidation. Over time, this damage can lead to a number of chronic illnesses, like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants also help slow down the aging process, which can have immense effects on your skin health.
3. They are high in fiber, which I’ve touched upon before, yet it is so important for good bowel movements and nutrient absorption.
4. They contain phytonutrients, that not only help to decrease your risk of cancer and heart disease, but are good for your skin and bones. Again, that explains my intense cravings after my spinal surgery.
5. Did I mention beta-carotene?! Beta-carotene is the name of the orange pigment that gives the fruit and veg their specific colour. It protects your skin from sun damage It also serves a great purpose for maintaining good eye health and vision. It also converts into vitamin A. We need vitamin A for good vision and eye health, for a strong immune system, and for healthy skin and mucous membranes.
Tip: Add a small amount of fat (oil) to any orange foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, oranges etc, because that makes the beta-carotene more bioavailable and easier to absorb vitamin A.
6. Beat inflammation with them! Hello, turmeric and squash! Inflammation can occur throughout the body, and is often a symptom of other conditions, showing up as an alarm bell. Squash contains the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to lowering inflammation in the stomach and cardiovascular system. Since inflammation in the body has also been linked to type-2 diabetes, and it’s particularly rich in fiber it’s an excellent food to introduce in order to manage this illness.
7. They’re great for pregnant women! Squash (particularly winter squash), papaya, oranges have reasonable levels of folate, has been known to be an essential vitamin for pregnant women. Folic acid, or folate, is extremely important for the neural development in embryos, which lead to further defects in babies. The richest source of folate is, lentils, which come in different colours, including red/orange.
Here’s where you can get these from:
SOLAR PLEXUS SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
● 1 mango, half for blending, half diced
● 1/2 cup squash (125g)
● 1 tangerine
● 1 orange
● 1 tablespoon hemp oil/cacao butter/coconut oil
● 1 handful soaked almonds
● 1/2 lime’s juice
● 1 teaspoon cinnamon
● 1 slice ginger
● 1/2 tablespoon bee pollen* (can be left out if you avoid bee products)
Add the orange and tangerine first and blend into a liquid consistency. Then complete with the rest of ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve into a bowl and decorate with anything crunchy. Enjoy!
Then complete with the rest of ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve into a bowl and decorate with anything crunchy. Enjoy!
Serve into a bowl and decorate with anything crunchy. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you’d like to have this as a smoothie add 1/2 cup water when you’re blending and you’ll get a thinner smoothie to drink.
Denisa Ratulea of Second Nature is a London based Health Coach and Raw Food Chef, with over 10 years experience in dealing with severe back pain and healing through foods, while experiencing two major spinal surgeries. She is the founder of Second Nature, an educational platform for wellness and holistic living, which delivers talks, raw food classes and retreats across the UK and Europe. Denisa helps people make health and energy their second nature by showing them step by step, tasty and simple strategies to implement into their diets for a healthier lifestyle. Check out her site, full of amazing recipes and smoothies: www.Second-Nature.co
Find out more about healthy eating, juicing, smoothies, and meal plans in Denisa’s new cookbook “Cooking from Your Heart” at: www.second-nature.co/cookbook