September 11, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter
It is well known that eating lots of fruits and vegetables is key to a healthy and balanced diet. In fact the MyPlate recommendation is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Research shows that eating a variety of different colored vegetables insures intake of many important nutrients. Each pigment has it’s own unique and beneficial properies.
Red: antioxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanins
Great for: memory function, heart health, urinary-tract health
Ex: Tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, guava, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, beets, red apple skins, red cabbage, red onion, red beans
Orange/Yellow: beta-carotene and bioflavonoids along with important vitamins such as C, E, and folate.
Great for: eyes, bone health, immune system, heart health
Ex: Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mangos, apricots, peaches, oranges, lemons, tangerines, clementines, peaches, papaya, apricots, nectarines, pineapple, yellow pepper
Green: lots & lots of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, fiber
Great for: eyes, bones, dental health
Ex: Kale, spinach, leafy greens, romaine, broccoli, honedew, kiwi, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, arugala, peas
Blue/Purple: flavonoids, phytochemicals, anthocyanins, Vitamin C, folic acid and polyphenols
Great for: reducing risk of cancer, memory funtion, healthy aging, urinary tract health
Ex: Blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, elderberries, prunes, raisins, plums, eggplant
White: phytonutrients, allicin
Great for: heart health, maintaining good cholesterol levels
Ex: Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, shallots, cauliflower, bananas, pears, mushrooms, potatoes
Not only does eating a variety of colors provide you with enhanced health benefits but it also makes it easier to consume the recommended 5-servings a day! This will brighten up your children’s meals and you can turn it into a fun game for them to play. Have them think of a fruit and vegetable for each color that they may enjoy. If you have trouble getting your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables try making art out of them. Below are some pictures of creative ways to make them fun to eat!
use: strawberries, almonds, chocolate chips