The easiest and most effective way to ensure wellbeing and heightened immunity is to eat the rainbow. Yes, all you need to do is to look at the rainbow and include the corresponding colours VIBGYOR (violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) foods in your diets to keep myriad diseases at bay.
Also don’t forget the the Newton disc (also known as the Disappearing Colour Disc) - a rotating disc with segments in VIBGYOR which appears white when it spins very fast. That is why eating white foods, a colour which is a combination of them all, is equally important too.
Violet (Blue, Indigo) Panacea Eggplant
Eggplant (also called brinjal and aubergine) which tops the healthy vegetables list usually does not find favour with most people, which is sad, as there’s a lot that this purple vegetable, often elbowed out from plates because of its bland, slightly bitter taste and uneventful looks - delivers.
It’s loaded nutritionally and delivers plenty of nutrients at a very low calorie cost.
That’s not all! Eggplants deliver a lot of antioxidants, particularly chlorogenic acid, a wonder pigment which works on four fronts: fights free radicals and many viruses, lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, and provides protection against cancer.
For this compound alone, it makes sense to eat more of this spongy textured vegetable. Another reason to learn to love them is that they are is loaded with another antioxidant anthocyanin, which is a proven cancer slayer, anti aging panacea, inflammation cutter, and immunity booster.
Eat more: Believe me when I say that it is very easy to put more of this versatile food on your plates.
It can be roasted, grilled, fried, steamed, or sautéed and you can even expand your palate and try some international dishes like ratatouille (Mediterranean), and babaganoush (Greek). Or just stick to the tried and tested age old Indian recipes like baigan ka bharta, stuffed brinjal, or a baigan curry paired with cauliflower and tomatoes.
More blue / purple foods: blue grapes, plums
Great Green Spinach
Our diet these days is primarily acidic (highly processed and packaged foods) which leads to higher toxic residue in the body (= more fatigue and lifestyle diseases and lowered immunity), so eating more alkaline foods is the way to go. And spinach is one of the top five five alkaline foods around (other four are: eggplant, cucumber, watermelon and lemon).
Eat more: This nutrient-dense vegetable seems humble enough, but it’s versatility — as the base of salads, a smoothie add-in, or as a superfood side dish… is unbelievable. Try this really quick recipe: Wilt the boiled spinach in olive oil for a minute, season with salt-pepper, grate in nutmeg, stir in some feta and dig in.
More green foods: spirulina, matcha.
Yellow Wonder Pineapple
During season change do you become a magnate for cold and flu attacks? An easy and tasty way to give your immunity a fillip is by eating pineapple regularly. Yes! That’s because the enzyme bromelain and loads of vitamin C this delicious fruit delivers can help cut inflammation of the nasal cavity and remove excessive mucus from the respiratory system - and thus help combat (and even keep away) regular colds and coughs, and even bronchitis.
Eat more: chop pineapple, apple, and boiled sweet potato, mix them up, sprinkle some chat masala and squeeze some lemon juice and dig in! Also blend crushed pineapple pieces into cottage cheese for a sweet spread on your toast.
More yellow foods: turmeric, lemons.
Super Orange Oranges
One orange comfortably meets your daily vitamin C requirement, which helps sharpen your immune system, prevents oxidation of cholesterol (thus keep your heart healthy), and reins in free radicals to prevent inflammatory disorders. This key antioxidant acts as an immune enhancer by helping white blood cells perform at their peak. C also supports the production and activity of antibodies, and good antibody function is important for a healthy immune system.
Note: eat up the orange quickly once cut, as exposure to air destroys C.
Eat more: It’s a portable fruit so you can have it while running errands around town or running in between conference room meeting. Juice it or add segments to salads. Make salad dressings with it.
More orange foods: pumpkin, yam.
Vibrant Red Carrot
The beta carotene (which gets converted into vitamin A in the body) the carrots are famous for not just keep our eyesight sharp, but are also known as an anti-inflammation vitamin and has a very important role in enhancing the immune function of our body. It is an antioxidant which is a valuable protector of the immune system, as it strengthens white blood cell production, our disease fighters in the body.
Eat more: you can simply roast or sauté carrots in olive oil, steam them and puree to make a rich, creamy soup or shred and add to salads.
More red foods: cranberries, red cabbage.
More red foods: cranberries, red cabbage.
Pure White Radish
Radish is a great source of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that displays amazing anti-inflammatory properties and so is great not just for our immunity but also for our hearts health. In fact the folic acid, Vitamin C and anthocyanins in radish make it a very effective immunity boosting food.
Eat more: Make one radish part of your salad every day. Make radish Bhujia (subzi) and eat.
More white foods: garlic, cauliflower.