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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eat Right With Color

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March is/was National Nutrition Month, and even though it's the last day of the month I still want to support the American Dietetic Association's efforts to encourage nutritional eating, specifically to "Eat Right With Color"

They have taken their "5-a-day" campaign to the next level!


Many of you may ask, "What does color have to do with it?" or "Isn't a vegetable a vegetable and a fruit a fruit?" Well, let's talk about it. It's true, fruits and vegetables (regardless of their color) are highly beneficial. They provide:



  • Fiber- Improves the tone of G.I. tract muscles, decreases diseases like diverticular disease and colo-rectal cancer, binds fat and cholesterol, keeps us full longer, helps with weight loss, and encourages regularity.

  • Vitamins and minerals- Increase immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells do their job.

  • Little fat and low in calories- It's virtually impossible to overeat on fruits and veggies. Filling your daily diet with fruits and vegetables will not contribute to pounds on the scale!

With this said, we need to step it up a notch by eating fruits and vegetables from every color in the rainbow. Each color provides a different nutrient that is specific to that color.


Green


Helps with energy metabolism, needed to make new cells, supports vision and skin health


Foods: Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, green bell pepper, kiwi, green beans, asparagus


Vitamins: riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin C


Yellow/Orange


Helps with immunity, iron absorption, amino acid metabolism, strengthens bone growth, antioxidant, helps maintain eye health


Citrus fruits, mangoes, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots


Vitamins: carotenoids (vitamin A) and antiodants (vitamin C)


Red


Helps prevent cancer and strong antioxidants to fight free radicals


Foods: apple, tomatoes, cranberries, rhubarb, red peppers, strawberries


Vitamins: Lysopene, anthocyanins (antioxidants)


Blue


Also contains antioxidants and phytonutrients to help fight free radicals


Foods: blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, eggplant


Vitamins: anthocyanins (antioxidants)



White, Tan and Brown


Contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.


Foods: banana, brown pear, dates and white peaches, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn.


Adding a variety of color to your plate will not only look prettier, but has long lasting benefits to your health!


The American Dietetic Association (found here) has and will always be the "goldstandard" for nutrition. Every Registered Dietician must pass their boards through this organization and is backed up with legitimate research and science. The ADA never succombs to current fads or trends in the diet industry.



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