Eating from the rainbow is good for your health! Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, and contain vitamins and minerals, fiber and phytochemicals, which provide a variety of health benefits. Aim to eat a variety of color each day for maximum benefits and if you’re stuck on one color, why not try a new color a week?
Blue/Purple: This group contains anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. They may also help reduce your risk of certain cancers, complications from diabetes and age-related memory loss. Add some blue/purple to your plate by trying the following: purple grapes, dark raisins, plums, blueberries, purple cabbage or dried plums.
Green: This group contains sulfurorphane, isothiocyanates and indoles which may help reduce your risk of cancer. Green/Yellow fruits and vegetables also contain lutein and carotenoids that help fight age-related vision problems. Leafy greens are also a good source of iron, folate, calcium, vitamin K, A and C. Add some green to your plate by trying the following: broccoli, green cabbage, Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach, collard greens, kiwi, lettuce (Romaine and dark leaf) or green peas.
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White: This group contains allicin, found in garlic and onions, which helps fight infection as well as flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that help protect against cancer and heart disease. Add some white to your plate by trying the following: onions, garlic, mushrooms, green onions, cauliflower, chives, endive, celery, asparagus, artichokes or leeks.
Yellow/Orange: These are rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant that protects against cancer and heart disease as well as contributes to good vision, healthy skin, healthy bones and teeth and a healthy immune system. Citrus and tropical fruits in this group are also a good source of vitamin C. Add some yellow/orange to your plate by trying the following: oranges, grapefruit, papaya, nectarines, pears, mangoes, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, carrots, apricots and butternut squash.
Red: This group contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect against cancer and heart disease. Foods in this group may also help reduce the risk of complications from diabetes, help control high blood pressure and slow the effects of aging. Strawberries, guava and red bell peppers are also a good source of vitamin C. Add some red to your plate by trying the following: tomatoes and tomato products (low-sodium ketchup, spaghetti sauce, low-sodium tomato juice, and cooked salsa), watermelon, guavas, cherries, strawberries, beets, red apples, red bell pepper or red onion.