Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables
Not sure about you but I find it really easy to slip into eating the same thing every day. Yes it can be simpler and easier but rarely does a narrow repetitive menu of foods provide the wide variety of nutrients our bodies need.
Ever heard of the “rainbow diet?” It’s not an actual diet - it refers to choosing fruits and vegetables of every color in the rainbow.
Eating the full rainbow of foods regularly is an easy strategy to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs. In addition to fiber, vitamins and minerals, naturally colored foods contain phytochemicals. These powerful nutrients are the disease-fighting substances that also give fruits and vegetables their array of colors.
Research has shown that eating a variety of these nutrients can work together to:
1. Strengthen your immune system
2. Lower your risk for certain cancer
3. Help ward off type 2 diabetes
4. Reduce high blood pressure
5. Prevent some eye diseases
6. Reduce high blood pressure
7. Prevent some eye disease
8. Maintain urinary tract health
9. Maintain heart health
10. Improve memory
11. Help build strong bones and teeth
Your daily quota
Only about one out of four Americans eat the minimum recommended servings of fruits and veggies per day. Instead, most of us eat too many high-fat, high-calorie foods such as fatty meats, junk foods and sweets.
And the five-a-day requirement we have used for our health living challenge is actually really low. This is one area that more really is better. Look at some recent dietary recommendations:
} Children 2 to 6 years old should get three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit, for a total of five.
} Children older than 6, teenage girls, active women and most men should get at least four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit, for a total of seven.
} Teenage boys and active men should get five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruits, for a total of nine.
So what is our last weekly challenge? For every day you get at least 4 of the 5 colors in your daily diet by choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables you will earn the 5 bonus points. And if you want to challenge yourself further why not step up your fruit and veggie servings to 7 or even 12 servings a day?
Red: Red apples, cranberries, red grapes, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, pink or red grapefruit, tomatoes, radishes, radicchio, red peppers, red onions
Blue/purple: Raisins, blackberries, blueberries, plums, purple grapes, eggplant and purple cabbage, purple figs
White: Bananas, white nectarines, white peaches, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, potatoes.
Green: Green apples, green grapes, kiwi fruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, avocado, broccoli, spinach, okra, artichoke, zucchini, lettuce, celery, asparagus
Yellow/orange: Yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, grapefruit, pineapple, yellow peppers, pumpkin, sweet corn, yellow tomatoes, lemons, sweet potatoes