By H. Sooki Hon, MD, PhD
It’s that busy time of year when those well-balanced, Pinterest-inspired meals just don’t make it on your family’s weekly menu. But that’s OK. Nutritious meals don’t always have to be complex.
An easy way to make sure your family is getting a variety of nutrients is by simply creating a colorful plate. Different colored fruits and vegetables provide distinct, and equally important, vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be healthy. By incorporating the colors of the rainbow throughout your meals, you’ll have a huge impact on your family’s well-being, as well as encourage healthy eating habits.
The colorful foods listed below are nutrient powerhouses your family will be sure to love.
Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision, lower blood pressure, regulate the digestive tract, and boost immune system activity.
• Fruits: avocado, apples, grapes, pears, honeydew, kiwi, and lime
• Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers, and leafy greens such as kale and spinach
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity, collagen formation and healthy joints, work with calcium to build healthy bones, and reduce the risk of some cancers.
• Fruits: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach, oranges, and pineapple
• Vegetables: carrots, yellow peppers, yellow corn, and sweet potatoes loaded with antioxidants and can improve memory, mineral absorption, and urinary tract health, and may reduce cancer risks in the digestive tract.
• Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, plums, and raisins
• Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, and purple-fleshed potatoes
Red indicates produce that may help maintain a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing LDL cholesterol levels, as well as improving vision and immunity.
• Fruits: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit, red grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon
White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health, reduce cancer risks, and stimulate a healthy digestive tract.
• Fruits: bananas, brown pears, dates, and white peaches
• Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potatoes, and white corn
• Probiotic: cultured buttermilk, kefir, and yogurt
For more than 40 years, Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates has been treating all types of digestive health issues, including nutritional concerns. We offer personalized nutrition counseling services at several of our of offices across Metro Atlanta.