How to Eat Right with Color

How to Eat Right with Color

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2011 is “Eat Right with Color.” The benefits of increasing color in your diet is as plenty as the gold in the pot at the end of the rainbow a eating a variety of food provides the body with different nutrients, antioxidants, and flavors.

Each color of food provides different benefits. Here is a breakdown of the colors and some great choices within each color:

  • Red fruits and vegetables provide nutrients that help maintain a healthy heart, immune system, and may help reduce cancer risk. Some examples are: watermelon, cherries, red grapes, red peppers, tomatoes, and rhubarb.
  • Orange and dark yellow fruits and vegetables provide nutrients that promote healthy vision and can help fight cancer. Some examples are: peach, mango, cantaloupe, carrot, yellow peppers, and sweet potatoes.
  • Green fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and nutrients linked to reduced cancer risks. Some examples are: honeydew, kiwi, avocado, broccoli, green peppers, and leafy greens.
  • Blue and purple produce have antioxidant benefits and may help with antiaging, memory, and fighting cancer risk. Some examples are: blueberries, blackberries, plums, eggplant, and purple cabbage.
  • Brown, tan, and white foods can contain nutrients which can also reduce cancer risk and promote a healthy heart. Some examples are: bananas, pears, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, and turnips.

So, how can you add color to your meals? While grocery shopping, make sure to purchase foods from each color group and check your shopping cart for all the colors of the rainbow. If fresh fruits and vegetables are not available, frozen is a great option. Bags of mixed frozen fruit provide an already made color blend and a bag of blended frozen vegetables is a great addition to any meal. Also, be sure to use cut fresh fruit to make a fruit salad to add to your breakfast or for an in-between snack.

Making the effort to eat each meal with color is an important step in achieving healthy eating. Work with your meal combinations to transform them into a colorful appealing meal. Use these colorful meal suggestions to build your own:

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt parfait made with fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries, and ¼ cup of high fiber whole grain cereal OR egg white omelet with green and red peppers, mushrooms and a grapefruit.
  • Lunch: Salad with leafy greens, diced tomatoes, sliced carrots, and chopped purple cabbage. Top with grilled chicken or water packed tuna. Serve with apricots or sliced peaches.
  • Dinner: Broiled white fish with a baked sweet potato, broccoli, and red peppers. Serve with pineapple and raspberry fruit salad.

Making the effort to “Eat Right with Color” daily will promote healthier eating, provide the body with important antioxidants and nutrients, and taste great!

Article written by: Heather Huey, Direction or Nutrition Services at LA Weight Loss

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