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National Nutrition Month

Monday, March 21, 2011

Katrina Heisler
Monday, March 21, 2011

Photo: Courtesy of Ambro

March is National Nutrition Month so I figured this week’s nutrition blog would be a great way to honor it by sharing a little about campaign. The American Diet Association (ADA) sponsored this year’s educational operation in efforts to increase informed, healthy decision-making when it comes to food choices.  The theme this year is “Eat Right with Color.” What exactly does that mean? Well, you should aim to eat something healthy from each of the different colors each day. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple - there is an abundance of healthy and colorful power foods that you can eat everyday to make your meal nutritious. Most of these colorful foods include fresh fruits and vegetables to you avoid eating processed items that add unnecessary fat and sodium into your diet.

Going through the rainbow you can get nearly all your vitamins and minerals from each of the colors. Red fruits, such as strawberries, are a great source of antioxidants and fiber, while juicy tomatoes and red bell peppers have lycopene and vitamin C respectively. Orange carrots provide vitamin A, essential for maintaining healthy teeth, bones, and eyes, and sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative to a starchy white potato. Bananas provide potassium which can help keep your muscles from cramping before or after a tough workout. Green is probably the most abundant color you can put on your plate. When dealing with salads, the darker the green, the more nutritious. Spinach has more vitamin K, calcium and iron than iceberg lettuce. Blueberries are stocked with fiber and antioxidants and taste great over yogurt mixed with other ripe fruits. Purple grapes are a fiber filled snack, while using eggplant is a healthy and hearty substitute for meat in many vegetarian recipes.

There are many more foods that fall into each color category but the goal is to try and get as many colors into your meal as possible. This ensures not only a fresh, delicious meal, but also a healthy one. You can learn more about National Nutrition Month and get great tips including recipes every day! Look at Women’s Health Magazine’s article titled 23 Ways to Eat Better for a list of the healthiest, colorful fruits and veggies along with then their peak buying season is to ensure you are getting the most nutrition for your buck! Tips also include how to store and cook food items so before you know it you will be an artist painting with the colors of the produce isle! Happy cooking and happy National Nutrition Month!

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