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Color as food for health!

color, food, health, color in food, color for health

Color is all around us; color plays a major role in our lives, sometimes without our being aware of it. It is no wonder then that color therapy, or “colorology” is supposed to have been used from ancient times, and is used as a therapy even today by practitioners of the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine. The idea of using color for healing can be traced back to ancient Egypt, which had Healing temples of Light and Color.

What is the link between color and good health?
It is said that when there is a deficiency of a color/colors in our bodies, diseases appear.
The principle of color therapy is to restore imbalances in the body, and one way of doing this is consuming food, in the form of fruits and vegetables, of the color required.
It is often said that we are what we eat, and the food we eat has different colors! Every color has a significance, and is associated with certain organs. It is said that even the shades of a color have different properties. Ayurveda states that some colors are naturally beneficial to us, so we need to consume foods of these colors.

Let us look at the properties and uses of each color.
The color Red is linked to heat and blood circulation, so it is an energizer. It reduces heart disease and circulatory problems, and is therefore used to treat paralysis and blood related problems. This color is also recommended when one is feeling low. Foods with shades of red, like carrot, water melon and cherry build hemoglobin and energize the liver, so they are useful for patients in shock. Beetroot restores the balance in the body. Tomatoes, apples, strawberries also belong to the “red” family.

Different shades of the natural color red are found not only in food, but even in metals, such as copper. Ayurveda practitioners suggest drinking water stored in copper jugs to improve the quality of blood, and we know that red is the color of blood.

Green is known to be a calming color, and complements red. Therefore, it is useful in treating nervous conditions, hay fever, influenza, high blood pressure and skin problems. Naturally, all foods with this color can be used for these problems. The radium in green makes it a muscle and tissue builder. Examples of green colored food are: green grapes, guavas, green peas, green cabbage. Cabbage, spinach, guava and grape are anti cancer and prevent heart diseases. Foods that are green in color also stimulate the pituitary gland.

The color Yellow, such as found in sweet lime, yellow pepper and papaya, strengthens the nervous system, and has an impact on the endocrine system and intestines. This color contains cerium, and thus acts as a cerebral stimulant. It is also a motor stimulant because of its carbon content. Yellow is used for problems like diabetes, liver and kidney, eye and throat ailments. Food items that can be used are Lemons, pineapples, and pulses which are yellow in color. We have all experienced the magic of lemon juice as a quick pick me up. The lemon peel is the color of vitality, so it is sometimes recommended that the lemon peel be soaked in the drink for about twenty minutes.

Violet/indigo complements yellow. This color is used to treat skin and nerve related ailments, head /scalp diseases, and even mental problems. It is supposed to boost memory. Some varieties of aubergine, blackberry and egg plant are examples of food with shades of the color violet.

Blue is a “cool” color; it acts as a cooling and soothing agent, and alleviates pain. It is used to treat conditions like pain, bleeding and burns, and glandular problems. Common food items that are blue/purple color are blueberry, blue plum, black current and purple cabbage. They are good for the throat, blood pressure, eyes, sleep and healthy aging.

The color Orange can help to increase the pulse rate, alleviate asthma, gout and fever. It complements the color blue, and aids in digestion and elimination of toxins. It is said to be effective even for mental problems. Oranges, papayas, carrots, pumpkin and mango have shades of this color. They have anti-oxidants, and are beneficial for the lungs, since they are respiratory stimulants. They also stimulate the thyroid.

Indigo is not a common color in food, and the best example is mulberries. It is supposed to be a purifying color, linked to the pituitary gland. Indigo soothes the eyes, ears and nervous systems, so it is used to heal migraine, cataract, and skin disorders.

White is a neutral color, and apparently helps in mental clarity which is required for new beginnings. Common food items in this “clear” color are cauliflower, potato and onion.

It’s interesting to see that dieticians are increasingly recommending that we include different shades of color in our food to achieve a balance of the essential nutrients. Moreover, brightly colored foods, such as green, yellow and red capsicums, are supposed to have high levels of anti-oxidants that neutralize free radicals, and boost immunity. Finally, a plateful of color: red, green, yellow, orange, purple, white and brown, is a visual treat, and increases the appetite! So let us make use of color in our food to achieve good health.

A note of caution: Color therapy cannot replace medical treatment, but can be used as a supplement. However, it should be undertaken only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
Published: 2008-10-05
Author: Nita Mukherjee

About the author or the publisher
I have a post graduate degree in teaching, a Masters [gold medalist] in English, and two diplomas in writing. I have over 20 years experience teaching at various levels, and am also a freelance writer. In the last 10 years, I have authored a number of educational books, written and
edited content on diverse topics and done online tutoring for American
students.

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