Posts Tagged ‘The Color Code: A Book Review’

The Color Code: Book Review

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

The topic of this book  is indicated in its title, but I believe a subtitle could be “The Pigment Power of Whole Foods,” instead of “A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimum Health.” The reason for this is that the title does not reveal how powerful this book really is! After reading it, I realized how the color of a food is a strong indication of its power to heal. (And the term pigment power is actually from the book, not one I created., although I wish I had!)

Authors James Joseph, Ph.D., Daniel A. Nadeau, M.D., and Anne Underwood have done a terrific job of explaining the relationship between the color of foods and their power to heal. Chapter One is called “Think Health−Think Color! (This would also be a good title for the book.) and introduces the reader to the terms phytochemicals* and antioxidants*, two “buzz words” in the health field. The first word, phytochemicals, applies to the natural compounds in plants, from the Greek word for plant, phyton, while the second term, antioxidants, is defined by www.chemistry.about.com as an enzyme or other organic molecule that can counteract the damaging effects of oxygen in tissues. Although the term technically applies to molecules reacting with oxygen, it is often applied to molecules that protect from any *free radical (molecules with unpaired electrons. )”

*Find the definition of italicized, bold words in my Glossary as well as here.

You may have seen the terms caretenoids and anthocyanins, which actually refer to the pigments in foods, or as noted earlier, what the authors call the “pigment power” of foods. These phytochemicals have three main health promoters:

1. They are powerful antioxidants and many of the strongest are the protective pigments in fruits & vegetables
2. They act as an anti-inflammatory “brigade,” which is important because inflammation is linked with disease.
3. They have the ability to boost the body’s natural detoxification system, acting as an “elaborate cleanup crew for toxic waste disposal.”

The core of the book deals with the phytochemicals in fruits and veggies, dividing them into four color categories: the red family (apples, radishes, tomatoes), green foods such as kale, spinach, broccoli, avocado), the orange-yellow foods such as sweet potatoes and oranges, and finally the bluepurple family such as eggplant, lavender, and blueberries.  Each food is discussed in detail as to the antioxidant power and its ability to knock out free radicals.

The last section is called “The Color Code Recipes” with a food plan to empower the reader to eat from each of the four color groups every day.  Based on all the information presented in the book, some of which is still in the experimental stage, I think the challenge of eating what I call Rainbow Recipes is worth addressing.  The book emphasizes obtaining the goodness from the actual food, since supplements often change the structure of the food.

This is one of the most informative books I have ever read. It is to the point, powerful in its findings, and provides a simple plan for eating all the foods that are colorful, health-giving, and disease fighting.  The book is published by Hyperion Books and can be purchased through Amazon.com for less than $15.00. Click on the link below to order your copy and start your full spectrum eating plan.