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May 27, 2011 at 12:17 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Eat Right with Color!

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Eat the rainbow to jump start the fun surrounding National Nutrition Month. I’m sure you, like everyone else, have been badgered by your mom to finish your greens. Well, what about your yellows, oranges, reds, purples, or blues? The theme for this year’s festivities is Eat Right with Color, encouraging Americans to enjoy and experiment with the beautiful bounty of fresh produce available.

In the summertime, the local farmer’s market may seem to have been "Crayola-fied" by a group of preschoolers, as the displays may seem unrealistically painted on (Purple carrots anyone? Or perhaps yellow cauliflower is more up your alley?). When you spot such eye-catching produce, please don't ignore them. These are definitely the ones you want to bring home.

Generally, the more vibrant the food, the more jam-packed it is with nutrition. (No, I am not referring to the pretty packaging!) Picture a lipstick-red tomato. All of the color is the result of lycopene, a phytonutrient believed to decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Then, there are the infamous health benefits of wine, due to the resveratrol found in dark purple grapes, working hard to protect our heart. And, don't forget nutrient-rich blueberries that are chock-full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins. Each color of produce provides unique disease fighting antioxidants and energy boosting nutrients to help maintain your active lifestyles and promote health.

Eat the Rainbow

Curious as to which fruit may fall into the purple category, or what vegetables (outside of broccoli) will fulfill your greens? Keep reading below to find some fresh ideas to help jumpstart that rainbow diet!

WHITE: bananas, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, jicama, white peaches/nectarines, parsnips, kohlrabi

YELLOW: yellow beets, golden kiwi, pineapple, yellow watermelon, summer squash, yellow tomatoes

ORANGE: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, papayas, butternut squash, mangoes

RED: cranberries, red onion, pomegranate, red peppers, watermelon, red cabbage, beets, radicchio, rhubarb

PURPLE: blackberries, figs, plums, raisins, eggplant, purple Belgian endive, purple bell peppers, purple fingerling potatoes, purple asparagus

BLUE: blueberries, grapes, blackberries, black salsify, black currants, elderberries

GREEN : kale, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli rabe, broccoflower, avocados, artichokes, brussel sprouts

What other ideas can you think of? A handy cheat-sheet of the brilliant produce decorating the produce section may be found at Fruits and Veggies More Matters.

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