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Nutrition News for WBR: Benefits of adding color to your plate – thewestsidejournal.com

Posted: February 4, 2021 at 9:52 am


You may ask what are the benefits of adding a variety of color to your plate? That is a good question, and I am here to give insight to you on it!

It is important to eat three to five servings of fruits and vegetables daily to help improve overall health. Even if a person does not eat the recommended amounts daily, it is always good to set a goal of increasing your intake weekly. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can prevent some types of cancer, lessen risk of heart disease, can lower blood pressure, and lower risk of digestive and eye problems. Experts are stressing the importance of not only increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, but also adding variety to your plate.

Keep in mind that each color provides a vast amount of health benefits and no one color of fruits and vegetables is superior to the other. Throughout the week a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables should be added to your meals and eating an assortment of colors will make certain you get the nutrition benefits of all of them.

Below I will go into detail about the different assortment of colors and their benefits. Each of the five color groups will give examples of foods that can keep you healthy.

Blue/Purple

This group is rich in B vitamins, Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. They have antioxidants called anthocyanins that help the heart by preventing development of blood clots, may help support healthy blood pressure, help decrease heart disease, aid in lower risk of cancer, supports a healthy digestion for the gastrointestinal tract, and are thought to postpone cellular aging.

Examples: Blackberries, blueberries, plums, eggplants, dates, purple cabbage

Green

This group has great sources of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate, calcium, and potassium. These foods are found to contain cancer blocking chemicals in which prevent the action of cancer-causing compounds, inhibit neural tube defects during pregnancy, may help aid in lowering blood pressure, and aid in blood clot formation.

Examples: Asparagus, mustard greens, celery, kiwis, cucumbers, avocados

White and Brown

This group is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, and folic acid. The onion group contains a compound called allicin, which has anti-tumor properties. This group also contains antioxidants. The nutrients in this food group can help in cancer prevention, heart health, and boost immunity.

Examples: Mushrooms, bananas, onions, cauliflower, garlic, parsnips

Red and Pink

This group is rich in lycopene in which is a powerful searcher of gene-damaging free radicals that appears to defend against prostate cancer as well as lung and heart disease. They are also rich in Vitamin C, folate, flavonoids, and tannins that can help reduce inflammation and stop bacteria from connecting to cells.

Examples: Watermelon, beets, cranberries, pink grapefruit, pomegranates, tomatoes

Orange and Yellow

This group represents the beta-cryptoxanthin and Vitamin C in which are rich in beta-carotene. Eating these foods help support intracellular communication, maintains eye health, helps to fight against cancer, essential for healthy skin, and may help to prevent heart disease.

Examples: Pineapples, carrots, butternut squash, orange peppers, papayas, sweet potatoes

For information on this or other nutrition topics, contact Tamika L. Jones, Assistant Area Nutrition Agent at the West Baton Rouge Parish LSU AgCenter office, 210 Turner Road, Port Allen, La 70767. She can be reached at 225-336-2416 ortljones@agcenter.lsu.edu. Information adapted from: American Heart Association, http://www.todaysdietitian.com , http://www.diabetesforecast.org , http://www.health.harvard.edu

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Nutrition News for WBR: Benefits of adding color to your plate - thewestsidejournal.com

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