March is National Nutrition Month. It is a great time to support the health and nutrition of your family.
Eating a variety of foods is one of the best ways to ensure that you are getting the fullest range of nutrients in your diet. A fun way to help you and your family choose the right foods is to eat a rainbow - choose fresh fruits and vegetables from each color of a rainbow. Dazzle your kids with color! Eating fruits and veggies in a variety of colors - red, dark green, yellow, blue, purple, white and orange - not only provides eye candy for your kids but mixing things up also gives them a broad range of nutrients. So think variety, think color and everybody wins!
Here is a breakdown of the health benefits of each color:
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin. Good for heart health.
Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables
Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones. Good for eye sight and cancer prevention.
Green vegetables and Fruit
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. These nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.
White fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.
Let us know how your family does with eating more fruits and veggies this month on LongIsland.com's Parenting Forum