The next colour of the rainbow, orange, is a beautiful burst of sunshine to anyone’s plate. I recommend a six month-old baby starts her journey into food with butternut squash or sweet potato as a first food, and it’s usually an instant hit. The nutrients in orange help prevent inflammation, macular degeneration and may mitigate cancer risks.
Orange vegetables lend themselves easily to soups, risotto, salads, roasting and baking. I’ve used sweet potato mixed with maple syrup as icing for birthday cake or cupcakes for my daughters without complaint.
Oranges from the citrus family are an obvious fruit choice, but fruits including mango, papaya, and cantaloupe make delicious juice when added to a morning smoothie or just blended with ice and fresh mint on a warm summer’s day.
My Favourite Orange Foods
Vegetables - Butternut squash, acorn squash, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato and orange peppers.
Fruit - Apricots, cantaloupe, golden kiwifruit, mangoes, nectarine, orange, papaya, peach, tangerine, pear, orange tomato and persimmons.
Extras - turmeric, curry, mustard, and red lentils.
Orange foods contain beta- and alpha-carotene, hesperdin, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium and vitamin C .These nutrients help prevent inflammation, macular degeneration and the risk of many, many types of cancer. They also support healthy cell growth, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, and soak up harmful free radicals. These busy and very powerful phytonutrients also encourage a healthy and alkaline body, and work with magnesium and calcium for healthy bones.
Heard of curcumin? It’s the principal caroteniod found in the spice turmeric. Its antioxidant properties both help prevent cancer and free radical damage from eating high fat or processed foods, and also helps to detoxify chemicals and medicines including chemotherapy drugs. Curcumin is so powerful that it’s found in supplement form for those needing a more potent daily intake. Typically an indian spice, turmeric is also found in curry powder–which is a blend of spices including turmeric, that gives it that vibrant orange colour.
Add turmeric to mayonnaise for a healthy spread or dip; rice as it’s cooking; and sprinkle on cauliflower and roast in the oven for a blast of colour that’ll have the dinner table instantly talking.