Finding ways to build a colorful at each meal and with snacks can boost nutrition and is a simple way to make sure everyone in the family is getting the nutrients they need. Let’s take a look at what each one has to offer!
Green veggies contain a powerful antioxidant known as lutein. Lutein promotes good vision and healthy skin. Lutein can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by slowing down the thickening of arteries. For continued health benefits, include a variety of these nutrient- rich green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, asparagus, leafy greens, cucumbers, artichokes, celery, green peppers, and okra. Fruit like kiwi, grapes, apples, limes, and honey dew offer health benefits too!
Red vegetables are always a good choice due to powerful antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins. Their anti-inflammatory properties help to keep your heart healthy. They can also help to maintain and increase memory while lowering the risk of cancer. Include red vegetables in your diet like tomatoes, red peppers, beets, and red onions for increased health benefits.
Yellow and orange vegetables contain Vitamin C as well as several antioxidants such as carotenoids and bioflavonoids. These vegetables have been shown to help maintain a healthy heart and eyes. Carotenoids may slow the progression of arthritis as well as reduce specific types of cancer including lung, stomach, bladder, and breast. Bioflavonoids and Vitamin C work together to increase immune function. Yellow/orange nutrient-rich veggies include pumpkin, yellow and orange peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash. Fruits like golden kiwi, nectarines, cantaloupe and oranges count too!
Purple vegetables, although not as abundant as other colored veggies, are especially rich in powerful flavonoids. Eating these deep colored veggies can help reduce your risk for heart disease and can decrease memory loss. Flavonoids have also been shown to play a role in reducing the risk of cancer. These vegetables include eggplant, purple cabbage, and purple asparagus.
Now that you have a few more facts under your belt, find ways to include an assortment of colors in your children’s diets. Remember to eat the colors of the rainbow. To learn more about easy ways to include color variety in your diet visit Fun with Fruits & Vegetables.
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