Hello Friends and Hello March!
March is the month that I begin my blog and …March is also the National Nutrition Month, a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the American Dietetic Association.
The theme for this year’s campaign and my first blog is Eat Right With Color!
Eating a rainbow of foods not only provides good visual appeal to your plate but also good amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants. These naturally occurring compounds in food prevent our body from early aging, enhance the immune system, reduce inflammation, kill cancer cells, protect our DNA (the genetic code in our cells) from being damaged and also prevent urinary tract infections.
The darker the food, the more phytochemicals it contains, which equals increased nutritional power.
Antioxidants in food can be identified by their colors:
Green is the color for chlorophyll. This along with zeaxanthin and lutein (which are also present in many green foods), support eye health and may lower the risk of age-related disorders.
Your eats: avocado, apples, asparagus, grapes, green beans and leafy greens such as spinach, kale.
Yellow/orange is the color of carotenoids such as beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and may promote healthy vision and immune system.
Your eats: apricots, carrots, mango, oranges, papaya, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and yellow pepper.
Blue, purple, and dark-colored foods contain antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins (an-THO-sigh-An-ins). Foods such as blueberries are rich in phytochemicals and are considered a super-food. Research shows that these anthocyanins help prevent urinary tract infections, may improve short-term memory and reduce cancer risks.
Your eats: blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, plums, purple grapes, purple potatoes, raisins.
Red is the color for compounds such as lycopene and anthocyanins. They not only give foods their red color but also help support prostate health for men and the immune system for everyone.
Your eats: beets, cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red potatoes, red grapes, tomatoes and watermelon.
So, the next time you go grocery shopping, shop for a variety of colors. Also, try buying at least one new fruit or a vegetable, if possible.