March is National Nutrition Month! This year's theme, "Eat Right with Color," provides an easy way to focus on improving eating habits — simply include plenty of color on your plate!
National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign sponsored by the American Dietetic Association (www.eatright.org) to promote nutrition awareness and education. This month the American Dietetic Association wants you to make healthy choices by incorporating a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals every day.
A rainbow of foods contributes a variety of nutrients, each with different potential benefits. A varied diet supplies different nutrients, so maximize the nutritional value of your meal, by including healthful choices in a variety of colors."
Green. These foods contain special compounds called indoles, that help the liver and intestinal tract get rid of harmful compounds and may help reduce cancer risks.
Examples include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, spinach and kale.
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, and alpha and beta-carotenes which protect cell membranes, improve night vision, and may reduce the risk of cancer. Examples include oranges, tangerines, papayas, apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn, squash and sweet potatoes.
Purple and blue fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins that may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks.
Examples include blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins, eggplant, and purple cabbage.
Red produce contain compounds that are rich in lycopene, which reduces cancer risk by ridding the body of free radicals that can damage genes. They may help to maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks.
Examples include cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes, watermelon, beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes.
White, tan and brown foods contain flavonoids that protect cell membranes which may then support heart health and reduce cancer risks.
Examples include banana, pears, dates, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn.
Earlier this month, Fairmont’s Mabel campus participated in open house and children and parents helped themselves to red delicious apples loaded with phyto nutrients!
For more tips visit the National Nutrition Month section. Plenty of resources are available, including recipes, interactive games, nutrition education resources and the NNM blog.
Contributed by Leslie, Nutrition Management Services