Did you know that orange foods are loaded with beta-carotene and that it boosts your immune system, aids in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and infections and protects your eyes?? I think it’s fascinating what food does in our bodies! If I can keep my immune system healthy then I can have more energy and enjoy my life even more! And that gets me excited! So let’s talk orange foods! And by orange I do not mean skittles or foods that have been magically colored by the “food” products fairy. I mean real, natural, whole, nutritious fruits and vegetables. I keep going back to this because our society has gotten so far away from eating foods our great-grandparents would recognize as food. As a result we are now a sicklier population than we ever were. Our bodies were not designed to get sick whenever the seasons change. Can you imagine living back when we were hunter-gatherers? How efficient would our species have been if we were so prone to illness? We never would’ve made it this far, evolutionarily, if our bodies were predisposed to illness. But, we can change this trend! We can be healthy and lead vibrant lives. All it takes is being more aware today than we were yesterday.
So let’s get our immune systems going! These are some orange foods to add to your diet:
Carrots - I’m sure we all remember Bugs Bunny and his carrots. If Bugs were a human being he’d have great skin as the vitamin A in carrots help slow down the aging process and keep skin clear.
Butternut Squash - loaded with fiber and potassium, this vegetable is low in fat and helps build stronger bones.
Sweet Potatoes - help with acne due to the anti-inflammatory nature of its vitamin A.
Papayas - make sure you buy these organic to avoid any genetic tampering with this fabulous fruit! It promotes a healthy digestive system.
Pumpkin - the ubiquitous fall vegetable, it keeps our eyesight sharp (like all orange veggies) and aids in weight loss. Pumpkin seeds can protect your body against heart disease.
Orange Tomatoes - these little guys have been shown to contain a form of lycopene that our bodies can absorb more easily. So if you see them, give them a try to protect your body from cancer and heart disease.
Cantaloupe - full of vitamin A and C, both powerful antioxidants, and they are sweet! Just be careful with these if you are allergic to mold.
Apricots - these little fruits are packed with iron, fiber and potassium. I love adding these to my Chicken Tagine. Be careful with them in dried form! The added sugar will cancel out the health benefits.
Golden Beets - like their red cousins, these are low in calories but full of fiber and potassium. They help with the elimination of toxins.
Guava - this tropical fruits is packed with lycopene, which for dudes, helps protect against prostate cancer. It also has 60% more potassium than a banana.
Make sure you add a little bit of a healthy fat when eating these foods! Vitamin A/Beta-Carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin. A little coconut oil, some extra virgin olive oil (if you’re eating it raw), a nut butter like almond butter, an avocado or some nuts and seeds will help your body absorb it. Who knew that the nutrients that make vegetables and fruits orange had powerful effects on your body?!
Power Orange Smoothie
2 large handfuls organic baby spinach
2-3 cups purified water (or ½ organic nut milk & ½ purified water)
1 cup organic mangoes, frozen
1 cup organic papaya, fresh or frozen
½ cup organic apricots
2 tbsp organic coconut oil
2 tbsp chia seeds
Add the purified water (or liquids of your choice) and ingredients in blender. Blend and serve.
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