Eat Right with Color!

become a patientBy:  Laura Zenni and Larissa Myers, Emory Healthcare Dietetic Interns

When most people start a diet, elimination of certain foods is common. This can be a positive change (like eating less fried foods).  In addition to limiting certain food items, why not add healthy new foods as well? Eating a variety of colors will naturally incorporate many vitamins and minerals into your diet. Foods that have the most color and catch our eye are fruits and vegetables.

Aim for 2-4 fruit servings and 3-5 vegetable servings per day. This may seem like a large amount, but a serving of fruit or cooked vegetables is ½ cup and a serving of raw vegetables is 1 cup. Or, skip the measuring and try this simple trick: fill half your plate with fruits and/or vegetables at each meal.

Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and many more!  They can boost immune function, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Be sure to vary the color! Different colored fruits and vegetables have different health benefits. For instance, green produce promotes eye health while purple and blue fruits and vegetables help heal wounds and cuts and fight infections. Also, did you know that fruits and vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber? Fiber keeps our digestive system healthy and also fills us up so we are more satisfied at meals.

In summary, eating right involves not only eliminating, but incorporating new and healthy foods into your eating plan. Add color, through fruits and vegetables, to your meals and snacks for a healthier you!

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