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Rainbow-foodIf you want to add nutritional variety to your diet plan, the rainbow is a great place to start.  The color of food gives us an idea of its nutritional value and health benefits.  Try using the full color spectrum by incorporating red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple, and white foods into your meals. 

Red: Red foods are packed with antioxidants and lycopene.  They help maintain low blood pressure, good heart health, and provide protection against cancer.  Try adding strawberries, red peppers, cherries, pomegranate, or radishes to a meal or snack. 

Orange: These sunshine-colored foods contain beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C.  Incorporating healthy foods like apricots, bell peppers, and peaches into your diet plan will help promote eye health, collagen growth, and prevent cancer. 

Yellow: Yellow fruits and vegetables are loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as carotenoids, and bioflavonoids.  These foods also contain vitamin C and are linked to healthy immune and digestion systems.  They are also associated with stronger bones and healthy skin.  Add bananas, lemons, or spaghetti squash to your diet plan to reap the benefits associated with these sunny-colored foods.

Green: Green vegetables are loaded with fiber, vitamin K, folic acid, chlorophyll, lutein, and potassium.  Green foods build healthy cells, fight cancer-causing cells, and serve as a detoxifier.  The choices are numerous, but spinach, kale, broccoli, cucumbers, and asparagus are a few green choices to add to your diet plan. 

Blue/Purple: Raisins, blackberries, blueberries, endives, prunes, and eggplants are some of the foods in the blue/purple family. These foods are packed with antioxidants and nutrients that support healthy digestion, give the immune system a boost, and improve memory.  Some of the nutrients you will find include flavonoids, lutein, vitamin C, and fiber.

White: Consuming white produce has numerous benefits.  White foods are rich in vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B.  Foods, such as onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, and ginger promote a healthy heart, help you feel full longer, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  And, do not forget about protein-packed tofu, which is great to toss into a salad!

Adding color to your diet plan is an easy way to ensure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly.  Consider making a salad with an item from every color of the rainbow or picking three or four colors to incorporate into a healthy snack.  The possibilities are limitless.  Just remember to watch your servings.  So, try something new, and eat the rainbow on your way to a healthier lifestyle. 

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