Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Celebrate National Nutrition Month by adding color to your plate

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

by Julie Anderson

Health and Wellness Center registered dietitian

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  — During the 2011 National Nutrition Month, the American Dietetic Association encourages everyone to add color and nutrients to your meals through this year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color.”

To maximize the nutritional value of your meal, think about “eating a rainbow.” By adding a splash of colorful seasonal fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your plate you create a palette of nutrients. These nutrients, called phytochemicals and antioxidants, each have a different bundle of potential benefits for health and disease prevention.

Here is a quick color guide to guide you in your produce selections:

Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks.

l Fruits: avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi and lime

l Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach

Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity, and reduce the risk of some cancers.

l Fruits: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach and pineapple

l Vegetables: carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes

Purple and blue options may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks.

l Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins

l Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato

Red indicates produce that may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks.

l Fruits: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red or pink grapefruit, red grapes and watermelon

l Vegetables: beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes

White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.

l Fruits: banana, brown pear, dates and white peaches

l Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn

To find out more about HAWC nutrition classes or to set up an appointment with the HAWC, call 556-4292.

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