Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Add Variety to Your Diet!

It is important to eat a wide variety of foods on a weekly basis to meet our nutritional needs with food rather than relying on supplements. You cannot make an unhealthy diet healthy by taking a supplement!

Short term, supplements can help with nutrient deficiencies but long term supplements cannot preserve health, in fact large doses of certain vitamins like Iron and Vitamin A can actually be damaging.

You can be sure you are eating a wide variety when you eat the colors of the rainbow. Try posting a rainbow on your refrigerator and noting down what foods you and your kids ate for the week that match with the colors.

Red: Support memory function and urinary tract health with beets, cranberries, raspberries, watermelon, red bell peppers, cherries and strawberries.

Orange and Yellow: Promote heart and vision health, and lower the risk of some cancers with bananas, carrots, oranges, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, papaya, pineapple and yellow bell peppers.

Green: Gives you strong bones and teeth and lowered cancer risks with spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula, chard, collards, mustard greens,chicory greens, asparagus, and broccoli.

Blue and Purple: Gives you healthy aging compounds and antioxidants from blueberries, red and black grapes, plums, and blackberries.

White: Helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and cardiac wellness by consuming cauliflower, white asparagus, oats, onions, apples, and mushrooms.

Take this list with you to the grocery store to make sure you are picking up enough variety during your shopping trips! Get creative with recipes and make it a habit to try one new fruit or vegetable a month. How often have you found something in the produce section and thought, I wonder what that tastes like or what I could use that fruit or vegetable for? Ask the produce manager to cut open a new fruit or vegetable so you can try it (if it's edible raw). Take it home and do research on the internet on how to prepare it.

Post in the comments section about what new fruit or vegetable you tried this week!

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