It reminds us of a burst of energy, bright sunshine, and autumn. It is also the color of quite a number of delicious veggies, some of which are Foundation Foods. So what is this all about? It’s about the color orange.
Believe or not, the colors of foods play an important role in bone health, and today, you’ll discover two orange veggies that nourish your bones and more.
Let’s get started!
This ancient and alkalizing tuberous root has its origins in Central and South America. Even though it is different from the yam, which is indigenous to Africa and Asia, sweet potatoes are often confused with yams. That’s because the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires the labeling of orange sweet potatoes as “yams”, to differentiate them from the lighter-fleshed variety.
A Great Source of Bone-Healthy Manganese and More
Sweet potatoes owe their bright orange color to their outstanding content of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A. As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, antioxidants are important to bone health.
But there’s more to sweet potatoes than antioxidants. They are an excellent source of manganese. This trace mineral is a Foundation Supplement because it is necessary for the synthesis of connective tissue in both cartilage and bone.
Also, the Foundation Supplements Vitamin C, copper, magnesium, and Vitamin B6 are present in sweet potatoes.
The Best Cooking Method
In spite of its sweet taste, one medium-sized sweet potato contains a little over 9 grams of sugar, and less fructose than most fruits. If you’re watching your glycemic load, then opt for boiling instead of baking. Baking alters the structure of the starch in sweet potatoes, causing a much greater blood glucose spike when compared to boiling. So it’s best to boil them for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft.
These crunchy and flavorful root vegetables are members of the parsley family and native to Iran and Afghanistan. As with sweet potatoes, carrots boast their deep orange color thanks to the antioxidant beta-carotene. Even though carrots are best known for supporting eye health, they also contain valuable nutrients that nourish your bones.
Rich in Boron and Silicon
Carrots are alkalizing and an excellent source of boron, a Foundation Supplement that is involved in bone metabolism and Vitamin D activity. Silicon, which is a trace mineral that’s instrumental for collagen formation and facilitates the assimilation of calcium, is also amply present in carrots. Plus they also contain good levels of Vitamin K.
A Link Between Osteoporosis and Heart Disease
First, I’ll explain why I’m talking about heart disease here. You see, studies have shown that there may be a link between osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). As one study explains:
“Atherosclerotic calcification and bone mineralization share a number of intriguing common features… The mineral observed in calcium deposits of atherosclerotic plaques has a very similar chemical composition to hydroxyapatite crystals which form the inorganic bone matrix… Other cells involved in bone metabolism including osteoclast-like cells, chondrocyte-like cells, and hematopoietic bone marrow cells were also seen in plaques.”1
The study goes on to mention several hypothesis as to why this link is observed, including Vitamins K and D deficiency.
So where do carrots fit in?
Carrots Reduce the Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease
A recent study conducted in the Netherlands has unveiled the astonishing power of carrots to reduce the risk of heart disease. In fact, of all the orange colored foods tested in the study, carrots were shown to be the most effective coronary heart disease (CHD) risk reducers.
Just one quarter of a cup of carrots a day did the trick! Steamed carrots have the most bioavailable nutrients, but make sure you don’t overcook them. Of course, you can enjoy them raw as well. If you don’t get the organic kind, peel them and wash them well.
Till next time,
1 Farhat GN et al. “The link between osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.” Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism. 2008. Jan-Apr; 591): 19-34.
2 Oude Griep LM, Monique Verschuren WM, et al. Colours of fruit and vegetables and 10-year incidence of CHD. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jun 8:1-8. 2011.