Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Eat a Rainbow of Foods: Health Benefits of Colored Foods

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Many American’s plates tend to be beige and brown with meats, loaded potatoes and refined grains. A diet rich in these foods provides high fat and cholesterol, with little nutritional quality. So what can we do to improve nutrition and add some spice to your plate? Add color! Through an array of fruits and vegetables, your plate will look more appetizing and your diet will be more nutritious.

Each color of different foods adds different nutrients that are beneficial to your body. To get your array of color try these different foods:

Orange/Yellow

These foods tend to be high in antioxidants such as Vitamin A and  C to improve immunity. Try: oranges, pepper, cantaloupe, mango, squash, carrots, sweet potato, lemon, papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin.

Blue/Purple

These foods often contain a phytonutrient known as anthocyanins, which helps with memory and reduces disease risk. Try: eggplant, grapes, purple potatoes, plums, raisins, blackberries, blueberries, and prunes.

Green

Green foods contain chlorophyll and are high in essential nutrients such as folate and carotenoids to help improve vision and reduce risk of disease. Try: spinach, brocolli, asparagus, collard greens, bok choy, kale, arugala, kiwi, brussels sprouts, artichoke, honeydew, and celery.

Red

These foods contain lycopene and anthocyanins, both heart-healthy compounds. Try: tomato, pepper, apples, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, beets, watermelon, red onion, and pomegranate.

White

White foods often contain nutrients such as alicin to promote heart health and reduce risk of disease. Try: cauliflower, onion, potato, banana, parsnips, jicama, garlic, and mushrooms.

Including an array of foods in your diet will make your food colorful and exciting for the entire family! Try new foods combined with your favorites to get a diverse range of nutrients to fuel your body.

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Tags: Antioxidants , Healthy Eating , Nutrition , Vegetarian

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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