What Color is Your Family's Diet?- Dean - WI

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Published on December 16, 2015

What Color is Your Family's Diet?

Advice from the experts on the health benefits of brightening your diet

When it comes to eating healthy, the more colorful your meal, the better! All too often we can get into a rut and feed our families a shockingly monochromatic diet filled with brown and beige foods. Fish fries, chicken dinners, French fries or boiled corn wind up on everyone’s plates more than we’d like to admit. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“Different colors indicate different nutrients,” says St. Mary’s Hospital
Registered Dietitian Marianne Merrick. “The brighter the fruit or vegetable, the more packed it is with healthy vitamins and other nutrients.”

Merrick says that packing your plate with color will also make your meal look tastier. Bonus: the more attractive the plate, the more likely it is your whole family will dig in!

Here’s how to taste the rainbow:

1. Green

Vegetables like spinach, broccoli and some darker lettuces are high in lutein, which keeps your vision sharp and clear.

2. Blue/Purple

Blueberries and blackberries are always healthy choices. They’re bursting with goodness, including antioxidants and anthocyanins (compounds that help prevent tumors from forming and/or slow their growth). Plus, they just taste like summer, don’t they?

3. Yellow/Orange

Sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, corn, and melon all contain a variety of carotenoids, which help reduce the risk of developing cancer.

4. Red

Tomatoes and watermelon are loaded with lycopene, which may protect against cancer and heart disease. And the taste of the season’s strawberries is beyond compare.

5. White

Cauliflower offers the same cancer-fighting benefits as broccoli. There’s also some evidence that the sulfur compounds in garlic and onions may ward off stomach and colon cancers. Other white foods, like poached chicken, seafood, reduced-fat cheeses, eggs, and tofu, provide all-important protein.

Over the next few weeks, find some colorful in-season produce and add it to your table. Aside from the awesome tastes, colors and textures, your family's health will thank you.

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