Are You Eating Enough Colour?

Are you Eating Enough Colour

We’ve all heard the phrase “eat your greens”.  But, what we should really be eating is the rainbow.  Phytonutrients come in all different colours—green, yellow-orange, red, blue-purple, and white.  Different colours contain different compounds.  Each of which have unique healing properties.  In order to promote good health eating a variety of colours is crucial.



What Are Phytonutrients?

The term “Phytonutrients” refers to the several thousand healthful, non-nutritive compounds found in plants. These compounds are referred to as “non-nutritive” because they do not supply calories like proteins, carbohydrates, or fats do.

Despite this, they benefit the body in several ways.  Studies show that people who eat more plant foods have reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In the plant itself, phytonutrients provide many functions.  They protect the plant from pests and environmental stressors, and impart colour and distinctive tastes and smells.

In the human body, phytonutrients;
  • Stimulate enzymes that help the body get rid of toxins
  • Boost the immune system
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Promote healthy estrogen metabolism
  • Stimulate the death of cancer cells

This is all pretty powerful stuff!

The Impact Of ‘Colour’

Organic fruits and vegetables are rich sources of phytonutrients.  Same with legumes, herbs/spices, nuts/seeds, and teas.  Aiming for one to two of each colour per day is a healthy goal to strive for.

Darker-coloured plants are generally higher in phytonutrients.  However, fruits and veggies from the white family do have potent contributions to make.

What Do The Different Colours Mean?

red foods

Red foods contain phytonutrients that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and protect the brain, heart, liver, and immune system.

Examples of red foods:
  • Beets
  • Bell pepper
  • Blood oranges
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit (pink)
  • Goji berries
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
orange foods

Orange foods help protect the immune system, eyes, and skin.  They also reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Examples of orange foods:
  • Apricots
  • Bell pepper
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Papaya
yellow foods

Yellow foods are beneficial because they contain compounds that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  They protect the brain, heart and vasculature.  In addition to your eyes, and skin.

Examples of yellow foods:
  • Apples
  • Asian Pears
  • Bananas
  • Bell Peppers
  • Star Fruit
  • Squash
green foods

Green foods contain compounds that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  They too protect the brain, heart and vasculature, liver, and skin.  In addition, green foods that help with liver function also help balance hormones.

Examples of green foods:
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Green Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Okra
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumbers
purple foods

Blue/Purple/Black foods contain compounds that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  They too protect the brain, and heart and vasculature.  It’s interesting to note that out of all the colours, this is the category that most people eat the least of.

Too little blue/purple can result in issues with the brain.  This is because these foods protect the brain from damage.  In addition they also promote healthy cognition and memory.
Examples of blue/purple/black foods:
  • Berries
  • Eggplants
  • Figs
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins

White/Tan/Brown foods – When thinking of white/tan/brown foods, processed foods may come to mind.  Foods such as;

  • Bagels
  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Crackers

Avoid those and focus on foods that are beneficial to your health such as;

nuts and seeds
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Spices
  • Seeds

The compounds in these earthy coloured foods are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory.  Additionally, like green foods, there are certain compounds that can assist with liver and hormone health.

Examples of white/tan/brown foods:
  • Ginger
  • Apples
  • Cacao
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Coffee
  • Coconut
  • Dates
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Tea

Eating by Colour

Easy Ways To Eat Your Colours

Start by observing the colours you eat.  Humans are creatures of habit.  As such we generally tend to eat the same foods over and over again.  This does our body a disservice.

In order to get more phytonutrients into your diet, you are going to have to mix things up!   It has been estimated that 80% of people are missing one or more of the phytonutrient colours in their diet.  Which sounds likely when you think that most people stick to eating processed foods that are brown, yellow, or white.

Think of a typical breakfast menu – waffles, pancakes, ready-to-eat cereal, sausage, and eggs.  This doesn’t provide very many phytonutrients now, does it?  Opting for a fruit smoothie with blueberries, peaches, raspberries and spinach would be way more beneficial. There’s four of the seven colours done for the day.

Click here for “Breakfast On The Go – Mixed Berry Smoothie” recipe.

Note: When implementing this way of eating, keep in mind that fruits contain sugar.  Even though it’s a natural form of sugar, fruits can still spike insulin levels.  As such, be sure to load your cart with heaps of colourful vegetables and just a few fruit.

Click here to read, “Is It Time To Stop Eating Fruit?”

Simple Ways To Jump Start A Phytonutrient Diet

First, make it your goal to try one new plant food (fruit, vegetable, nut, seed or legume) per week.  Explore ethnic stores for greater variety.  Second, stock up on organic frozen vegetables for easy cooking or organic berries as they tend to retain their phytonutrients well.  Third, keep fruits and vegetables where you can see them.  This will help you to remember to eat them.

Next, keep a bowl or container of fresh cut vegetables on the top shelf of refrigerator.  Always within easy reach.  If you must eat something sweet after dinner, choose a fruit for dessert (fruit kabobs, berry compotes, fruit salads, etc.)  Have dishes with lots of vegetable variety (e.g., soups, stir-fry).

Try and choose darker vegetables over lighter to maximize nutrient content.  Make the switch from mashed white potatoes to sliced carrots or mashed cauliflower.  Also, toss in red pepper, tomato sauce, garlic, onions or broccoli to omelets.

You can also add rinds of oranges or lemons to your water.  Try a little bit of every colour at a salad bar.  Be generous with your use of herbs and spice.  Devote some time at the start of your week to prepare your meals and recipes.  This will make eating whole foods throughout the week so much easier!

Make It Easy!

To make things easier for myself, I re-arranged my fridge to emphasize the food colours.  Forget separating fruits and vegetables.  I now separate things by colour.  It’s made preparing my meals and shakes so much easier.  I open the fridge and grab at least one or two items from each group.  It’s a good reminder to add variety to my dishes and it looks pretty!

It is also a great way to teach kids about the importance of healthy, colourful foods.  Make them choose which colours they want to eat.  Try making it into a little game.  Have a colour chart that they can check off each day to make sure that they are eating all the colours of the rainbow.

Now go on, eat the rainbow.  Your cells will thank you for it!

Detox Now: 287 Industrial Chemicals Found in Umbilical Cord Blood

Detoxify or Die

I was 22 years old, wearing a white lab coat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with an acupuncture needle in my hand, I was trying to steady my hand because it was shaking a lot!  I was about to stick this needle into a patient’s eye!!  Ok, not really their eye, but just below their eye, but above the eye socket bone.  You may be asking, Why?  Because this was one of the acupuncture points that I had to needle for this patient, who apparently had a tumour in her brain that was putting pressure on one of the nerves in her brain that was affecting her vision.  Who told me to use this acupuncture point?  It was the great Dr. Anton Jayasuriya, who was by far the greatest and smartest person that I had ever met by that point of my life.  I was a second year chiropractic student and had come to Sri Lanka with some fellow classmates to learn acupuncture from this famous Dr., who was a Board Certified Medical Doctor and Rheumatologist as well as a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Master.  We would come to his class every morning to learn about acupuncture and in the afternoon, we gained experience treating patients in his clinic.  And there was no shortage of patients!  They were lining up to see him from the early morning until late at night and they would come from all parts of the country!  It was an amazing experience!

The reason I tell this story is that there is one thing he said to us while we were learning there that I still remember today.  During one of our classes, we asked him to predict the future of medicine and to guide us by telling us what to focus on in terms of patient care.  He said the next major shift in medicine would be towards something called “Environmental Medicine”.  We all looked at each other and wondered what he meant.  He explained that the world today (and this was back in 1994) was full of toxic chemicals and pollution and that it would cause an epidemic of health problems and diseases that would be impossible to treat. 

Since then I have thought about what this great man said and looked at my own life to see how I could eliminate toxins. 

• I changed my toothpaste to a natural one without fluoride
• I changed my under arm deodorant to one without aluminum (and yes, I still smell ok!)
• my family and I invested in a home water filtration system that helps to remove chlorine from the water (it’s been found that we can absorb a lot of chlorine through our skin when we take a shower!!)
• we buy organic produce to avoid the harmful pesticides sprayed on our vegetables and fruit
• we switched to organic and grass fed meats to avoid meat from animals that eat genetically modified grains that are heavily sprayed with an especially toxic herbicide called Glyphosate as well as to avoid meat from animals that were given hormones and antibiotics during their life.

From the book, Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., I read something really scary, it was the results of a research study by the Environmental Working Group that looked at blood taken from the umbilical cord of 10 babies born in the US in 2004 which found 287 industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants including pesticides, mercury, fire retardants, consumer product ingredients, teflon chemicals and waste from burning coal, gasoline and garbage!!! 

Of the 287 chemicals found, 180 of them have been found to cause cancer in humans or animals!! 

I thought to myself, if all these chemicals are found in the blood of newborn babies, who knows how many chemicals are found in you and me!! Dr. Rogers also wrote about how industrial smokestacks disseminate into the air chemicals like dioxins and PCBs (the most potent cancer triggers known to man) and then clouds carry these chemicals to every continent and every body of water around the world!! 

As I think back to my time in Sri Lanka, treating that woman with cancer and remembering what Dr. Anton said about “Environmental Medicine”, I can’t help but think he had a magical crystal ball because we are living in a world where diseases like Cancer are so prevalent and even childhood cancers are at an all- time high as it is the number one cause of death by disease in kids ages 1-15!!

So as a Chiropractor, you may ask, why do I talk about toxins and the need to detoxify?  Well if you look back to the founders of our profession over a 100 years ago, they discussed the concept of removing subluxations from the spine so the body can get well.  They also discussed 3 causes of subluxation which are emotional thoughts, physical traumas and chemical toxins!!  That is amazing that more than 100 years ago they mentioned chemical toxins!  So let me ask you, what are you doing to detoxify???

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Guest Blog by Dr. Suhill Samji, D.C. DABCN

Dr. Suhill Samji DC, DABCNDr. Samji has been in practice for over 20 years. He completed 2 years of his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, after which, based on his academic performance was bestowed the honor of admission to the prestigious Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (Canada’s only English speaking Chiropractic college). Dr. Samji is a member in good standing with the B.C. College of Chiropractors which is the sole regulatory authority in British Columbia. Dr. Samji further expanded on his thirst for knowledge and higher education by immersing himself in a 3-year postgraduate study of the subspecialty of Chiropractic Neurology.

Dr. Samji is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (www.acnb.org) having studied under Professor Carrick of the Carrick Institute in the USA (www.carrickinstitute.org). The DACNB designation (although not recognized by the B.C. College of Chiropractors) earned by Dr. Samji, is one he shares with only 600 professionals worldwide. Dr. Samji has also undergone extensive training for the treatment of children and expecting mothers (www.ICPA.com) and can skillfully adjust the spine with his hands or gently with the use of an instrument. Dr. Samji’s office is conveniently located on the northwest corner of East Broadway and Commercial Drive. His clinic offers Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, and also has a Pain Medicine Specialist M.D. When not at the clinic, Dr. Samji can be found spending quality time with his wife and young son, and of course the 2 dogs, or playing soccer in North Vancouver’s Men’s League or practicing Yoga.

Find Dr. Samji at:

[email protected]

www.physiomedvancouver.ca

www.physiomed.ca

How to Detoxify without Retoxifying Your Body

How to Detoxify without Retoxifying Your Body

Everywhere you turn, you hear about detoxifying your body. But what are you not being told?

What do you need to know to detoxify safely without re-toxifying your body?

You can think about it like you would a traffic jam. There are potentially hundreds of cars trying to make their way down the highway but there are only three lanes and when you have so many more vehicles than there is room for on the road, you end up in chaos.

So what happens is that when you are adding in intense detoxification methods, it can sometimes wreak more havoc on your body than if you had just left things alone. So the answer to not re-toxifying your body starts with a very gentle process of a gentle detox.

The main forms of detoxification for your body are through your intestines, kidneys, lungs and skin.

Intestines:

Your intestines rid you of food toxins that you are finished pulling out the nutrients from. This is also a place that bodily toxins are dumped for removal. But often, your digestion can be sluggish from eating too much meat, grains and dairy products. (You should be pooping at least twice per day… if you’re not, you can be sure that you have serious toxic build up in your digestive tract). So the first thing we need to do to start a gentle detoxification is to start moving out those old toxins that are stuck there before we start delivering a whole bunch more toxins for it to process and be overloaded.

Start by increasing your water intake – and add lemon to it to add a bit of a added clean-up assistance. (I love to peel a whole lemon and throw it in my high speed blender with a litre of fresh water, and then strain it to remove the tiny pit pieces that break apart). This will help to start gently encourage movement of toxins out of your intestines.

Then start adding in more fibre to keep your intestines moving. The fibre acts like a broom and sweeps up the toxins and helps to move them out. The best forms of fibre are fruit and vegetables! Eat more than you ever have before!

Kidneys

Your kidneys filter your blood continually, all day long, and never rest. They pull toxins from your blood supply and deliver them to your bladder to be removed from your body in your urine. So yes, you guessed it! More water! 3-4 litres per day and more if you are super active.

Lungs

Your lungs are always delivering fresh oxygen to your body, but they also help to expel toxins on the exhalation. So take a few moments several times through the day to do some deep breathing exercises. AND move that body!! Breathe hard, make it work and make it sweat! We were built to move.

Skin

We chatted about moving that body! Your sweat will help to move toxins out of your body, so try to get some joyful movement into your schedule every day.

Additionally, dry skin brushing is an excellent way to encourage the release of toxins from your skin by using a natural hair bristled brush and very gently brushing your skin from the bottom of your body toward your heart. And from your hands and arms to your heart as well. Use gentle strokes or circles. The keyword is GENTLE – your lymph drainage system is extremely fragile and can only respond and pump the lymph when its movement is gently encouraged.

Are Toxins Making You Fat?

Are Toxins Making You Fat?

Every day we are bombarded by thousands of chemicals in our environments and lifestyles that have the potential to accumulate in our bodies.

From the cosmetics that are loaded with chemicals that you use on a daily basis, to the pesticides on our produce, various preservatives and lab created additives in any processed food you consume, toxins you are exposed to at work, environmental smog and car fumes on your way to work, cleaning chemicals used at your office or you choose to use at home, the laundry detergent residue touching you all day, and finally the smelly candle you light in the evening to relax after a hectic toxin-filled day can all contribute to weight gain.

How on earth can toxins affect your weight?

Our bodies are brilliant. Every single thing about them is designed to survive. No matter what we put in or on our bodies, the stress we put them under and the activities we motor through in a day, our bodies are continually evolving and adapting to keep us alive.

When toxins find their way into our bodies, we deal with them very systematically. We process them through our liver, kidneys and intestines and move them out! But those that can not be moved out so easily, or if there is a back up in our detox systems, these toxins can be swiftly moved to the outer regions of our body, simply to protect our organs. And these toxins are stored in fat cells.

So, in a way, we can thank our bodies for moving these potentially life-threatening toxins to our hips instead of letting them build up in our hearts. However, those toxins shouldn’t be allowed to stay there forever, so we have to safely move them out, without detoxifying and recycling the toxins through our bodies.

How do we safely detoxify?

1. The first thing to start to detoxify is to stop toxifying yourself in the first place!
• buy organic produce
• swap your cosmetics for natural options from health food store
use vinegar and baking soda to clean (no more harsh chemicals! Really, how dirty can we be?)
• avoid processed foods
• stop using products with lots of fragrance

2. Drink warm water with lemon every morning when you wake up.
This helps to gently stimulate your detox organs and start the detox process of the toxins that built up overnight.

3. Drink more water throughout the day. This loosens up the cells and moves digestion through – a major detox system.

4. Exercise daily! Movement helps everything move. Especially your lymph system which can not move by itself. It needs gravity and our movement to help things run.

5. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables – as organically as possible
These foods contain immense quantities of antioxidants to help fight against free radicals and other toxins that build up.

6. Talk to your natural health practitioner about herbs, tinctures and essential oils that would be helpful for your personal situation. There are wonderful, natural options to help to gently support your detoxification protocols without releasing all of the toxins at once and causing a RE-toxification situation.