FeaturedFoodFriday Health Corner

HOW COLORFUL IS YOUR PLATE?

Imagine a plate of hot delicious food placed before you. Its aroma attacks your senses and your mouth immediately begins to water. We all appreciate a delicious meal, but have you considered if you are getting all your nutrients? Have you been paying attention to what you are eating? One thing to remember as you consider your meal is to “eat the rainbow.” Fruits and vegetables add that burst of color to your meal.

Fruits and vegetables add that burst of color to your meal

A lot of us are so busy, we don’t eat as well as we’d like. One way to ensure you are getting  better nutrition is to aim for more colors on your plate. Here are colors you should look out for.

Green

The green color in vegetables is a plant pigment called chlorophyll.  Vegetables contain a lot of vitamin K, potassium, folic acid which ensure stronger bones, teeth and eyes. Vitamin K also helps your blood clot properly, preventing hardening arteries which can lead to heart attack.

Red

A bright color to add to your plate is the color red. These fruits and vegetables include tomatoes, watermelon and strawberries to mention a few. The red color is from lycopene which has been discovered to decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer.  In addition, cooked tomato sauce is known to have more benefits as the heat enhances the phytochemical activity. This helps the lycopene to be easily absorbed into the body.

Yellow/Orange

This group consist of vegetables rich in beta carotene and vitamin c.  These nutrients help boost your overall immune system. They also prevent memory loss and protect the skin. Vegetables and fruits in this group include carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, mangoes to mention a few.

White

This group is called the flavonoids and they are colorless. Flavonoids help reduce the risk of cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. White fruits and vegetables include bananas, pears, and cauliflower which help prevent constipation. These vegetables help you maintain a balanced weight and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Blue/Purple

These vegetables offer Vitamin C, Potassium and Folate. These include blueberries, eggplant, plums, and purple potatoes.

Easy tips to get more color on your plate

  1. Give vegetables a larger portion on your plate. Instead of the regular tomato sauce on rice, use four or five different vegetables.
  2. Reduce your intake of meat.
  3. If you like snacking in-between meals, eat fruits instead of cookies or sweets.
  4. Garnish with various vegetables. Use peppers, onions, tomatoes to garnish your meal.
  5. Uses sweet potatoes in your soups and stews.

A balanced diet is very important in order to maintain our health. God has provided these foods with enough nutrients to keep us healthy. A colorful plate is sure to improve our physical well being.

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