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Published on July 11, 2013

What Color is Your Family's Diet?

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

The gorgeous salad photo is courtesy of The fried chicken shot, sadly, is courtesy of a Dean staff member's cell phone. We pledge to do better. You can, too.

Too often, our good ol’ American diet looks shockingly monochromatic – it’s usually either golden brown or boringly beige. Fish fries, chicken dinners, French fries or boiled corn.

This summer, as a whole new crop of fresh produce hits the stores and farmers’ markets, vow to add some color to your family's diet.

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.

See? Easy. 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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