Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rainbow Plates this March!

March is considered to be the annual month of Nutrition with this year’s theme being “Eat Right with Color”. A rainbow of fruits and vegetables creates a palette of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals on your plate, each with a different bundle of healthful benefits.
It is important to know that variety within each food group is essential because each offers unique nutritional benefits and supply different nutrients.
Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks. Fruits and vegetables that are green are rich in phyto-nutrients and antioxidants that
Fruits include avocado, green apples, green grapes, green pears, kiwifruit and limes whereas vegetables include artichoke, asparagus, zucchini, dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, mloukhiye, green peppers, broccoli, parsley, rocket, peas, okra, cabbage, mint and the list goes on! This is the most abundant variety we have in Lebanon from which we can benefit a lot when making our famous Fattouch salad!
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision, healthy heart, better immunity and reduce the risk of some cancers.
Fruits include oranges, mango, cantaloupe, tangerines, pineapple, apricots, peach, papaya and yellow figs while orange vegetables include carrots, yellow pepper, pumpkins, sweet corn and sweet potatoes.
The rich orange color offers antioxidants such as carotenoids, bioflavonoids and the antioxidant vitamin C. The deeper the yellow/orange color, the more carotenoids these foods have!
Purple and blue options may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health, recurring infections and reduced cancer risks. Fruits that are purply are blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisin and purple figs while vegetables are eggplants and purple cabbage. These contain phenolic antioxidants and anthocyanins, which is responsible for the dark purple color.
Red and pink color indicate produce that may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks. This color group delivers lycopene, a powerful carotenoid, as well as anthocyanin. Reddish fruits include strawberries, pomegranate, cranberries, red or pink grapes and watermelon and the vegetables can include beets, red onions, red bell pepper and tomatoes
Last but not least, the last member of the palette is white, tan and brown foods that contain nutrients promoting heart health and reduce cancer risks. These include fruits such as banana, pears, dates and white peaches in addition to vegetables such as cauliflower, mushroom, onions, turnips, potatoes and garlic. Selenium in mushrooms and allicin in garlic and onion are of great antioxidant potential.
In whatever meal you are having, always include a bowl of colorful mixed vegetables followed by a snack of delicious fruits!
For more information, check Eat right.org

1 comment:

  1. Paty,

    Aloha, from Hawaii. Your "Eat right" post is so informative! I admire your blog very much, and I'd like your permission to borrow the same picture to use in my own food blog, which I only started recently. I'm just a newbie at this. I will link your food blog on my own website. I hope you might reciprocate after reading mine - macrobiotically-speaking.blogspot.com You definitely deserve to earn your master's, if you've not already obtained it! How do you keep up with all the blogs you follow?????