For Good Taste and Health, Follow the Rainbow
Information provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health
Looking for ways to help you and your family eat more fruits and vegetables for good health? Here's an idea: Eat the colors of the rainbow.
Research increasingly shows that foods with color and rich flavor contain more phytochemicals - plant compounds that aid in disease prevention and health maintenance. When planning your meals, think about the color spectrum:
* Red foods like tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit contain lycopene, which may aid in the prevention of cancer and reduce your risk for heart disease.
* Yellow-orange fruit and vegetables like apricots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots and oranges contain beta-carotene, which may aid in the prevention of cancer, slow the aging process, improve lung function and reduce problems related to type 2 diabetes.
* Green foods like broccoli, kale, spinach, collard greens, Romaine lettuce and Brussels sprouts contain lutein and zeaxthanin, which contributes to healthy vision and may aid in the prevention of cancer.
* Blue foods like blueberries, plums and currants are rich in vitamin C, which helps keep your capillaries strong so you won't bruise easily.
* White foods like onions, garlic, scallions and leeks can help lower LDL (or bad) cholesterol, reduce the risk of certain cancers and help control hypertension.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage people to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. And, don't forget to be active every day. Be sure to fit physical activity into your daily routine along with good food choices for a healthy life.