March is National Nutrition Month, and the American Dietetic Association is encouraging everyone this month to “Eat Right with Color”. Adding a variety of color to your meals also adds a variety of nutrients and antioxidants that is great for your health!!. Food color variety is essential for you to maximize the nutritional value of your meals.
Use this easy color guide to plan your meals. Each color provides different nutrients that promote different health benefits. Try to add one fruit or vegetable from each color group each day.
- Fruits: avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi and lime
- Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers, and leafy greens such as spinach.
- Fruit: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach, and pineapple
- Vegetables: carrots, yellow peppers, yellow corn, and sweet potatoes
- Fruit: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins
- Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato
- Fruit: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit, red grapes and watermelon
- Vegetables: beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes
- Fruit: banana, brown pear, dates, and white peaches
- Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white fleshed potatoes and white corn
Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables to help with your checkbook, or purchase frozen fruits and vegetables to increase variety and longer shelf life. Just make sure they are frozen in their own juice and have no added sugars.
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN