Eat The Rainbow for Balanced Nutrition
You might have heard food experts give the advice that we should eat the rainbow – meaning that there should be a variety of colors on your plate. A colorful plate means a different types of nutrients and a more balanced diet. What are the five colors that should always be on your plate?
Here are 5 colors that Nutrisystem Dietician Courtney McCormick says should be on your plate.
The natural plant pigment chlorophyll gives fruits and vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocado and kiwi their signature green hue. Green fruits and vegetables pack in vitamin K, folic acid and potassium, and are good for your eyes, bones and teeth.
It is the phytochemical lycopene that is responsible for the red color in fruits and veggies like tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon and pink grapefruit. Lycopene has been associated with a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and even certain eye disorders.
The yellow/orange group is rich in beta carotene and vitamin C and includes fruits and vegetables like carrots, mangos, pumpkins, cantaloupe, winter squash, sweet potatoes and peppers. In the body, beta carotene converts into vitamin A, which is good for vision and eye health, healthy skin and an overall strong immune system.Beta carotene is also believed to help prevent memory loss and to protect the skin from sun damage.
A lack of color doesn’t always mean a lack of nutrients. In fact, the largest class of phytochemicals are the flavonoids which tend to be colorless – think pears, bananas, and cauliflower. Flavanoids have been associated with reduced risk of a variety of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s.
Blue and purple vegetables offer a healthy dose of vitamin C, potassium and folate. The darker the hue in blue and purple fruits and vegetables, the higher the phytochemical concentration.