Make Your Plate Colorful

When I was a child, I liked using multiple colors in my coloring books. I would play around with the colors merging them together. As an adult, I realize I need to use that same thought process when preparing meals. I should merge a diverse color scheme of foods to give my body the nutrients it needs to function at an optimal level. When I say diverse color scheme, I mean healthy foods consisting of fruits and vegetables. I know cake and candy come in multiple colors; however, they are not packed with nutrients.

Fruits and vegetables come in numerous colors including red, blue, purple, orange, yellow, brown, white and green. Each color has nutrients that provide health benefits. For instance, studies have shown that red fruits and vegetables have nutrients that help fight cancer and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Red fruits and vegetables include tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, apples, red peppers, cherries and raspberries.

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables improve the immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease and promote healthy eyesight. They are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, cantaloupe, pineapple and peaches.

Green fruits and vegetables have nutrients that help improve the immune system and boost energy. A partial list of green vegetables include broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussel sprouts, spinach and green beans.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables lower cancer risks and help reduce inflammation. There is a belief that blue and purple fruits contain antioxidants that help fight cancer and assist with aging well. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables include blueberries, blackberries, grapes, eggplant, and plums.

White and brown fruits and vegetables also have numerous health benefits. They are heart healthy and can lower the risk of certain cancers. White and brown vegetables include cauliflower, garlic, onions, mushrooms and potatoes.

Making your plate colorful is not hard. There are simple recipes you can try. Sauté eggplant, squash, zucchini, onion and tomato in a little olive oil. Cook shredded Brussel sprouts with mushrooms and add parmesan cheese and garlic pepper. Try strawberries, blueberries, grapes and raspberries together to make a fruit salad. These are just some examples. Experiment by combining your favorite fruits and vegetables to make dishes. You never know what you will discover. You may create some new favorite dishes.

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