What’s up guys and girls! Today I want to talk to you a little bit about Healthy Shopping. There is a lot to cover so for now, I just want to cover as much about PRODUCE as I can in one blog 🙂
First of all you want to look for 100% certified USDA organic fruits and veggies. Most regular supermarkets will not carry it, so I suggest shopping at your local health food store or farmers market from now on, if you want fresh, organic produce. The reason why organic is so much better is because there is no radiation, no bio-engineering (which is when the food is genetically altered with steroids and hormones), there are no pesticides used on the food, and the food has been grown with NON-synthetic fertilizers. You know how the saying goes…”You are what you eat.” So be aware of what you are putting into your body, and treat yourself with respect. If you cannot find organic, or it is just a little too pricey for your budget right now, then it’s ok. Eating an array of non-organic veggies and fruits is better than not at all. However, make sure you look for the PLU code on the food. Organic foods have a 5 digit number and begin with a 9. Conventional fruits/veggies, that are not organic, but aren’t bio-engineered either, have a 4 digit number. WATCH OUT for any fruit or veggies that has a 5 digit number beginning with an 8!!! This means they have been bio-engineered, which means they have been pumped with hormones and chemicals to make them grow bigger and faster. These have been proven to be cancer causing. Stay away from foods with a PLU code of 5 digits that begin with an 8!!!
The next thing I wan to talk about is color. It is important to fill your cart with an array of colors because each color serves our body in a specific way. We need all the colors in order to function the best.
Green Foods– some examples include: kale, collard greens, and mustard. Greens are the #1 missing ingredient from American diets today. They provide our bodies with calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, folic acid, and chlorophyl. They purify the blood, strengthen the immune system, and LIFT THE SPIRIT 🙂 Experience an array of greens, but especially the dark leafy kind!
Red Foods– Red foods are rich in phytochemicals that reduce free radical damage, and support heart health and memory function. Some examples are: tomatoes, pomegranates, and red bell peppers.
Orange Foods– some examples include: oranges, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Just like our mothers said…orange foods help us see better! Orange foods support night vision, and the deep orange foods are rich in Beta Carotene and Vitamin C.
Yellow Foods– some examples include: yellow squash, yellow peppers, bananas, and pineapples. Yellow foods are great for improving our circulation and strengthening our immune system!
White Foods– some examples include: artichokes, fennel, parsnips, and onions. White foods are known for being like “Nature’s Pharmacy.” They help reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). Also, ginger, garlic, and onions have anti-viral and anti-bacterial phytochemicals so they can be used as natural antibiotics.
Blue and Purple Foods– some examples include grapes and eggplant. These foods are rich in very powerful antioxidants that prevent early signs of aging and heart disease!
Another thing to be looking for when shopping for produce is the TEXTURE. Different textures will ensure you are getting a variety of nutrients as well as a more interesting eating experience. Pick delicate and leafy textures, dense and strong, and others that are light and crispy. For example pair some arugula with sweet potatoes or roasted red peppers. This will make eating not only more interesting, but your meals will feel more filling as well.
Next week I will continue on the subject of Healthy Shopping. I intend to cover Seasonal Eating, Dairy, Meat, Fish, Sea Vegetables, Herbs and Spices, Cereals and Snacks, etc. over the next couple weeks. It is my goal to help create awareness among Americans about how to really shop and eat healthy for themselves and their families. As you know, I am attending New York’s Institute for Integrative Nutrtion, so I am learning just how much information there is that very few people are aware of. This makes it difficult for Americans to know what the truth is about how to feed themselves and others. Stay tuned! Also, if you have your own, personal questions about how to eat and shop healthy, please leave them here for me on the blog and I will be sure to address them!