March is a National Nutrition Month and I want to encourage you to celebrate by eating a rainbow. Most people do not eat enough vegetables on a daily basis. We do okay with consuming fruits but the veggies are left out. American Dietetic Association has put out a nice list to explain the beautiful colors of food or as I say it – a rainbow. The more colors in your diet the more nutrients you are getting.
This is how ADA put it today:
Research is uncovering the benefits of pigment-related phytonutrients — and the colorful fruits and vegetables that supply them. Different foods add a variety of color, texture, shape and flavor to meals and snacks, as well as different nutrients and phytonutrients. Vary the color on your plate to provide a festive and nutritious meal.
- Green: avocados, apples, grapes, honeydew, melons, kiwi, limes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach
- Orange and deep yellow: apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruits, mangos, papayas, peaches, pineapples, carrots, yellow peppers, yellow corn and sweet potatoes
- Purple and blue: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins, eggplant, purple cabbage and purple-fleshed potatoes
- Red: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes, watermelon, beets, red onions, red peppers, rhubarb and tomatoes
- White, tan and brown: bananas, brown pears, dates, white peaches, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potatoes and white corn.
According to the USDA, most men out there should eat about 3 cups of vegetables whereas women should eat about 2.5 cups per day.
What counts as a cup?
- 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables
- 1 cup of vegetable juice (this might be your green smoothie)
- 2 cups of dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc
Pass on the news and celebrate by eating a rainbow whenever you can!