Healthy eating is one of the most important components of leading a healthy life. The problem is that "eating healthy" is harder than it sounds. Today, grocery stores are filled with processed foods, preservatives and empty calories.
We have found a few tips and tricks to putting a healthy meal on the dinner table each night. MyPlate (the replacement to the food pyramid) the guidelines for a balanced meal should be the following:
In addition to this, a meal should include a small serving of dairy, like a glass of milk or a fruit cup.
When choosing the foods that you will use to follow these guidelines, remember to use all the colors of the rainbow!
Foods get their colorings in part from the nutrients that they contain, so eating some of each color will help to ensure that you are getting a balanced diet of nutrients that will improve the function of many parts of your body. We have included some information about the nutrients that come in which color below:
Foods: Tomatoes, Apples, Watermelon, Strawberries, Cherries, Red Peppers
What They Help: Some red food contain possible nutrients such as flavonoids, lycopene, vitamin C and folate. These nutrients help with memory and promote heart health
Yellow and Orange
Foods: Carrots, Lemons, Oranges, Peaches, Pineapples, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Mangoes
What They Help: Most of these foods contain beta-carotene, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C. These aid in eye health, heart health and support immune functionality.
Foods: Asparagus, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Kale, Peas, Spinach, Cabbage
What They Help: Green foods have been a side dish favorite for years. They are full of nutrients, including vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, chlorophyll and much more. Green foods help many parts of the body, most notably the bones, teeth and eyes.
Blue and Purple
Foods: Blueberries, Blackberries, Grapes, Raisins, Plums, Prunes, Eggplant, Beets, Beans
What They Help: This group of delicious food have antioxidants like anthocyanins and proanthocyanins. These are associated with improving heart health and improving brain function.
Foods: Onions, Garlic, Potatoes, Mushroom, Parsnips, Turnips, Bananas, Jicama, Ginger
What They Help: White isn't technically a part of the rainbow but it is still an important part of the diet - they contain flavanoids and potassium for heart health and improve cholesterol.
If you are looking for new ideas on how to prepare new dishes that include more color, you don't have to run out and buy a new cookbook. Check out one of the many recipe resources online, such as food.com or allrecipes.com.
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