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"Eat Right With Color" --March is National Nutrition Month!

Posted Mar 01 2011 10:40pm
The theme of this year's  American Dietetic Association's National Nutrition Month  is to "Eat Right With Color" which encouraging healthy eating habits.  My goal is to inspire you to add some color (and flavor) to your plate on a daily basis. 


Besides being delicious, fruits and vegetables are  full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, as well as other phytochemicals and antioxidants.  The health benefits that they provide us are so valuable and many of us don't take advantage of what they offer. 

Why are the colors important? Besides for aesthetic value, each of the colors contains a class of nutrients chock full of health benefits.  So instead of eating Skittles when you want to "taste the rainbow".... reach for a few of the fruits/vegetables mentioned below instead!  See the reasons why below
Red fruits and vegetables have been linked with heart health, memory function, decreased risk of some cancers, urinary tract health.  Red is equated to such health-promoting compounds as lycopene and anthocyanins. The darker and richer the color,  the higher the phytonutrients content.•Red: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes, watermelon, beets, red onions, red peppers, radishes, blood oranges, rhubarb and tomatoes

Green fruits and vegetables have been linked with vision health, decreased risk of some cancers, strong bones & teeth.  Green means chlorophyll, and green vegetables are rich in folate and such phytonutrients as carotenoids, lutein, and indoles.  The darker the greens, the better.•Green: avocados, apples, grapes, honeydew, melons, kiwi, limes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, broccoli rabe, green beans, brussell sprouts, celery root, green peppers, bok choy, snow peas, and leafy greens such as spinach

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables have been linked with heart health, vision health, decreased risk of some cancers, healthy immune system.  These vegetables/fruits are great sources of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta carotene (vitamin A).•Orange and deep yellow: apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruits, mangos, papayas, tangelos, pears, peaches, pineapples, carrots, yellow peppers, clementines, squash, yellow corn and sweet potatoes

Purple/blue fruits and vegetables have been linked with healthy aging, decreased risk of some cancers, improves memory function, urinary tract health.  Dark-colored fruits and vegetables are good sources of anthocyanins, a phytonutrient that brought alot of attention to blueberries and now they are touted as a superfood. Other blue and purple foods offer similar benefits.•Purple and blue: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins, eggplant, purple cabbage, and purple-fleshed potatoes

White fruits/vegetables have been linked with heart health, lowers cholesterol, decreased risk of some cancers and some contain a phytonutrient called allicin.
•White, tan and brown: bananas, brown pears, dates, white peaches, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potatoes and white corn.

For more information on National Nutrition Month - check out the American Dietetic Association's website: http://www.eatright.org/ .
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