Eat the Rainbow

Сollection with different fruits and vegetables

Eat The Rainbow
By: Shari Brown

Looking to amp up your nutrition game? Challenge yourself to eat a variety of whole, colorful fruits and vegetables! Fruits and vegetables get their color from naturally occurring micronutrients, such as vitamins and phytonutrients that are essential for good health and help supply your body with what it needs. Check out the benefits from eating the rainbow:

Red: Red colored fruits and vegetables, such as raspberries, tomatoes, strawberries, and beets, are rich in the antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanin. Antioxidants are powerful compounds can prevent cell damage and protect you from certain types of cancers. Additionally, red fruits and veggies contain high amounts of vitamin C and folate, which are important for maintaining a healthy immune system and support heart health and memory.

Orange and Yellow: Orange and yellow colored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A and C. These nutrients supportimmune function and healthy eyes and skin. Note: Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble compound, thus having a serving of fat with beta-carotene rich foods can help your body with absorption (e.g. cantaloupe with mixed nuts and granola or roasted sweet potato with olive oil)!

Green: Green colored fruits and vegetables, such asspinach, kiwi, and kale, are rich in vitamin K, folic acid, and potassium. Vitamin K helps your blood to clot properly, folic acid aids in metabolism, and potassium can help maintain proper blood pressure levels which reduces your risk for heart disease or stroke. Additionally, many green colored vegetables contain chlorophyll to help yourbody get rid of toxins and provide calcium to support healthy bones and teeth!

Blue and Purple: Blue and purple fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, purple cabbage, plums, or eggplant, contain powerful anthocyanins that can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanins also support memory and healthy aging!

White: White fruits and vegetables, such as ginger, garlic, onions and mushrooms, contain antioxidant-rich flavonoids. White vegetables also contain a compound called Allicin, which can help fight off disease and infection and maintain heart health and good cholesterol levels.

Each color group offers a set of unique benefits thus it is important to eat the rainbow and try fruits and veggies of all colors! Not only can this help you get a wider range ofessential nutrients but also can make your next snack or meal tastier and more satisfying! Start by looking at the color of foods on your plate; the more variety of naturally occurring colors (not artificially colored foods such as soda and candy), the better! Bring more color to your plate and learn how easy and fun healthy eating can be.

Sources:
http://www.nrdc.org/living/eatingwell/eat-rainbow.asp
http://healthyaggies.weebly.com/uploads/6/3/0/9/6309278/week_3_etr_cheat_sheet.pdf
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12002680
http://www.nrdc.org/living/eatingwell/eat-rainbow.asp

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