Monochromatic meals are out. Vibrant colors are in! “Taste the Rainbow” isn’t only for Skittles anymore. In fact, eating the rainbow is a wonderfully simple tool to remember to get a variety of fruits and veggies on our plates. Why is this good, you ask? We’d love to tell you. It’s about phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals (also known as phytonutrients) give foods their diversity of hues. Phytochemicals are antioxidants that occur naturally only in plants. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage in your body and work to stimulate your immune system. They can help prevent a variety of diseases; including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Eating an assortment of colorful foods ensures that you are getting a variety of nutrients. The more colors you eat, the healthier you will be!
Try these simple tips to color your plate:
- Add a variety of berries to your oatmeal, yogurt, whole grain pancakes or cereal.
- Make a colorful fruit salad.
- Blend a medley of fruits and vegetables into a smoothie.
- Add whatever veggies you have on hand to your sandwich – lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and peppers all add a delicious crunch.
- Replace your side of chips with a colorful variety of fruits or vegetables.
- Brighten up your soup or salad with a few extra veggies.
- Make a colorful fruit salad for dessert.
For more information on phytochemicals, check out these articles:
” Phytochemicals, The Cancer Fighters in the Food We Eat.” American Institute for Cancer Research. http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/diet/elements_phytochemicals.html
“Phytochemicals’ Role in Good Health.” Today’s Dietitian. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090313p70.shtml