Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Color Yourself Healthy!

Growing up you may have been told to eat your greens. But what about your reds, oranges, yellows, blues and purples?

For us artists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a colorful and tasty tip: “Sample the Spectrum!" Imagine your food plate is an artist’s palette.

Simply by putting a serving of every color on your plate, you are more likely to eat the 5 to 9 recommended servings of vegetables and fruits every day.

As the CDC explains it, you can meet the minimum five-a-day benchmark with one cup of dark, leafy GREENS, a tall glass of ORANGE juice, a half-cup of RED tomatoes, a half-cup of YELLOW peppers, and a half-cup of BLUEberries. That's not only a lot of color and flavor, it’s also a lot of excellent nutrition -- without much effort.

Here's a look at the full spectrum of colorful foods that should be part of your daily diet:

Examples: Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, kale, collard greens
Benefits: Green vegetables look great and taste wonderful. And they are rich in Folate and the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin that have the ability to protect your eyes and vision by keeping your retina strong.

Examples: Tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, cherries, beets, strawberries, raspberries, radishes, red peppers
Benefits: With red foods in your daily diet, you are also adding a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which can fight heart disease and some cancers. They may also help guard your brain against aging.

Examples: Carrots, pumpkins, apricots, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, pineapple, yellow peppers
Benefits: Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits are high in Vitamin C and contain beta-carotene, a natural antioxidant that can enhance the immune system and reduce your risk of heart disease. They all share the common bond of being health enhancing with great taste.

Examples: Blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, raisins, prunes, plums, eggplant
Benefits: Blues and purples rid your body of free radicals, and help prevent heart disease and hazards such as tobacco smoke. Wine and grape juice contain resveratrol which may reduce age-related diseases, reverse diabetes and promote longevity.

Examples: Garlic, onions, chives, scallions, shallots, leeks, artichokes, cucumbers, cauliflower, bananas, potatoes, celery, pears
Benefits: Yes, even white foods help increase the body’s ability to resist conditions ranging common colds and infections to heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

So if the only color in your diet comes from Cheetos and M&Ms, it's time to rethink your approach to eating.

For best results, “Sample the Spectrum” -- eat all the colors of the
rainbow! Yum-o!!

Visit the BINDERS website at www.bindersart.com!

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