The Barnes & Noble Review
Had enough of counting calories and avoiding carbs? Sick of protein shakes and power bars? Now you can say goodbye to fads and simply live by your color code. So say nutrition researcher James A. Joseph, Ph.D., endocrinologist Daniel Nadeua, M.D, and Newsweek health and medical writer Anne Underwood.
According to "the color code team," the secret to eating well involves incorporating a wide range of fruits and vegetables from four main color groups into your daily diet: red, orange-yellow, green, and blue-purple. Why color? Think phytochemicals, the disease-busting chemicals found in foods that go way beyond the nutrients you've probably already heard of and that come in a bottle like selenium or vitamin C. Different colors indicate different phytochemicals and different combinations of phytochemicals, which is why your meals should look something like a box of crayons. The Color Code presents a plan for doing just this, complete with a point-based system and plenty of original recipes to get you started.
If this sounds a bit gimmicky, it is, but the authors offer compelling arguments as to why loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables is so important. Whatever you make of their emphasis on color as a tool for encouraging diversity in the diet, you'll likely be impressed by their command of the latest scientific research and the many specific studies they cite to support their "pigment power" approach to obtaining optimal health. (P. L. Jennings)
The very pigments that make produce so vibrant are often what make it so beneficial, say the authors to this guide to eating by the color wheel; the red in tomatoes may protect against prostate cancer, for instance, while the yellow in turmeric seems to help ward off colon cancer. Joseph, a lead scientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging, and Nadeau, clinical director of a diabetes center and a Tufts assistant professor, have teamed up with Newsweek reporter Underwood to offer readers an encyclopedia of richly hued foods. After a brief overview (e.g., what the authors eat to stay healthy and "What Phytochemicals Mean to You"), the authors plunge into the foods themselves, offering the low-down on everything from apples to yams. Eat 9-10 servings of vegetables a day, keep a color counter and buy organic, the authors suggest; recipes such as Sweet Pepper Vegetarian Chili and Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce (blueberries are a "virtual storehouse of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds") round out the offerings in this accessible and encouraging paperback reprint. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
As scientists learn more about the disease-fighting compounds found in fruits and vegetables, it becomes clear that the more vibrantly colored the food, the more protection it may confer against specific diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and memory and vision loss pigment power, as it is called by the authors (Joseph is a lead scientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University). They recommend consuming nine to ten servings a day rather than the heavily promoted five-a-day, but the portions are small, and snacks and juices count. Libraries already owning David Heber's What Color Is Your Diet? (Regan Bks: HarperCollins, 2001) may not need to add this title, as both books cover substantially the same topic, with the exception of the nearly 80 recipes included here. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.