You know that all fruits and vegetables come in many colors. Did you know that these colors exist not just to make the fruits and vegetables appear attractive? These colors are packed with minerals, vitamins, and several other nutrients that keep you healthy and fit. Doctors advise us to eat a variety of variety fruits and vegetables, and for a good reason.
A balanced diet should be comprised of many food items; the more colorful the food items, the more nutritious your diet. Be sure though, that you purchase brightly colored vegetables and fruits from natural farmers markets or from organic stores. This is because color is sometimes added to bright color foods to make them look more appealing.
A great deal of scientific evidence is in place to support the benefit of eating colored foods. Research determines why some foods have color; the color is because of the vitamins and chemical structure that is present in some foods. Based on these studies, the way we consume food is slowly changing. Read on to know how you can balance your meals using colors to identify nutrition in foods.
Balancing Ideal Food Colors In Your Diet
Balance is important in everything, especially in your diet. Ideally, your diet should comprise of three essential nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. Check the colors on your plate at mealtimes to see if you are achieving the right balanced diet.
1. Your plate should contain some brown, to indicate whole grain pastas, rice or bread from the carbohydrate group.
2. There should be some red, green, or orange from the vegetable group for vitamins and minerals
3. There should be a healthy serving of pale red or white, such as tofu, lean beef, cheese or chicken to cover your protein needs
Focusing on just one nutrient changes your balance. Your body has to work overtime to create a new balance amid the chaos, causing you unnecessary physical problems. At every meal, ensure you eat a moderate serving of each nutrient and identify the nutrient based on its color.
Identifying Nutrients In Fresh Foods Based On Color
Eat at least 5 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits. Make fruits and vegetables a core part of your daily diet to achieve the ultimate balanced diet. Buy vegetables and fruits based on their color and add them to your daily meals, as detailed below.
1. Blue Or Purple Colored Fruits and Vegetables
These fruits and vegetables contain phenolics and anthocyanins, both of which are phytochemicals as that help lower cancer risk. They are also good to maintain memory function, healthy aging and urinary tract health. Therefore, the next time you consume blueberries, grapes, blackberries, raisins, purple cabbage, eggplant and plums among others, know that these blue / purple foods are fighting for your health.
2. Green Colored Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that appear bright to light shades of green contain indoles and lutein in varying amounts. These assist us in building strong teeth, bones, better eyesight and may also lower risk of certain cancers. So go ahead and buy your green apples, grapes, avocados, honeydew, limes, kiwifruit, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, celery, green beans, leafy greens, cucumbers, okra, peas, green peppers and spinach.
3. White Colored Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that are white in color contain the phytochemical allicin. This chemical is especially present in white onions. The phytochemical allicin promotes heart health by increasing the level of healthy cholesterol in the body. This phytochemical also lowers cancer risk in people. White vegetables and fruits such as garlic, onions, brown pears, bananas, cauliflower, dates, white nectarines, white shallots, turnips, white corn, parsnips, white potatoes, white peaches, jicama and ginger should be a regular part of your diet to ensure great heart health.
4. Yellow and Orange Colored Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits that are either yellow or orange colored contain loads of vitamin C, and bioflavonoids and carotenoids, which are heart beneficial phytonutrients. By consuming yellow and orange-colored fruits and vegetables, you’ll be promoting your heart, your eyesight and also building a healthy immune system. You’ll also be helping lower the risk of some cancers. You’ll find many orange and yellow-colored fruits and vegetables. Some of them are cantaloupe, apricots, grapefruit, mangos, nectarines, lemons, oranges, peaches, pineapples, papaya, butternut squash, yellow peppers, pumpkin, summer squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and sweet corn.
5. Red Colored Fruits and Vegetables
The phytonutrients lycopene and anthocyanins are lush in red fruits and vegetables. Between them, these two phytonutrients promote a healthy heart, ensure that urinary tract infections are kept at bay, improve memory function and also lower cancer risk. All red vegetables and fruits, the redder they are, are greatly beneficial. So fill up your basket with cherries, apples, red grapes, pink/red grapefruit, pomegranates, cranberries, raspberries, watermelon, strawberries, beets, radishes, red potatoes, tomatoes and red peppers.
John is Retired RN and blogs about medical scrubs and nursing uniforms on NursingUniforms.net Blog.