Fill Your Plate With A Rainbow Of Color

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Why you need to eat a variety of colors

Let's face it, most of us don't get include enough fruits and vegetables in our daily diet. As a matter of fact, there are many who fall way short of their daily minimun requirement. It is becoming common knowledge that people who include more fruits and vegetables in their diets are generally healthier. There are many benefits to fulfilling your daily minimum requirements of fruits and vegetables including: reduced risk of strokes, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Now that you are looking for ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet let me make a few suggestions:

* Have fruit for dessert

*Add lettuce, tomato and onion to your sandwiches

*Keep a bowl of fruit on the table for easy access.

*Keep a supply of frest vegetables cut up and cleaned in your fridge.

*Keep prepackaged salads in fridge and add extra vegetables for your own designer salad

*Drink 100% fruit juices instead of soda or fruit flavored drinks

*Add more vegetables to you pizza

*Add raisins to your cookie recipes

The best way to provide yourself with a balanced diet is to have an array of colors on your dinner plate. The more colorful the better. If you use every color you can you can reast assured that you are providing yourself with a healthy diet. Besides, the more colorful the food on your plate the better it tastes.

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Rainbow colored fruits and vegetables

Red

Fruits: Blood oranges, red apples, red pears, cherries, cranberries, pink or red grapefruit, red grapes, pomegrantes, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon

Vegetables : Beets, red cabbage, radicchio, red onion, red peppers, red potatoes, radishes, rhubarb and tomatoes

Red fruits and vegetables provide the body with lutein and zeaxanthin, potassium, Vitamins C and K, and folate. The benefits of these are: helping to keep the heart healthy, reducing the risk of birth defects, helping memory loss, health of the urinary tract and lowering the risk of cancer.

Orange/Yellow

Fruits: yellow apples, apricots.yellow figs, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapple, tangerines, and yellow watermelon

Vegetables: butternut squash, yellow beets, carrots, yellow peppers, yellow potatoes, pumpkin, rutabagas, yellow tomato, sweet yellow corn, sweet potatoes, yellow summer squash and yellow winter squash

Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables provide you with lutein, potassium, Vitamin C and folate. These help maintain eyesight, have immune boosting properties, adn help reduce the risk of birth defects. They are also jam packed with antioxidents.

Green

Fruits: green apples, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, limes, green pears

Vegetables: Arugula, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoflower, celery, chayote squash, endive, kale, green part of the leek, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, green onions, okra, snow peas, sugar snap peas, green peas, green pepper, spinach, turnip greens, watercress, and zucchini

Green fruits and vegetables provide you with lutein, zeaxanthin, potassium, Vitamins C and K, and folate. They help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, keep the eyes healthy and reduce the risk of birth defects.

Blue/Purple

Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, figs, juneberries, plums, prunes, purple grapes, raisins, elderberries

Vegetables: Asparagus, purple cabbage, purple carrots, purple endive, eggplant, purple bell peppers, purple potatoes

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables provide the body with anthocyanins and are a rich source of antioxidents. They help improve memory loss, reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease, and improve urinary tract health.

White

Fruits: bananas, white nectarines, white peaches, brown pears

Vegetables: Cauliflower, white corn, garlic, ginger, jersalem artichoke, kohlrobi, the white part of the leek, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, shallots, turnips

White fruits and vegetables contain allium, allicin and potassium. These help to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, and reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease.

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