As the summer months begin, not only does nature flourish with vibrant colors, so does the produce market! Warmer seasons indicate more fresh, colorful produce that help to expand our diets with healthier, more nutrient-rich alternatives. While the average American adult eats 1-1.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, it is recommended that we should actually consume 4.5 cups. Increasing our fruit and vegetable intake is both a health and economic initiative; just 2.5 cups can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease by 20 percent. Adding one more serving could save Americans $5 billion in medical costs per year!
So, how do we truly taste the rainbow? An effective way is to make sure your plate is filled with five of the main color groups: red or pink, blue or purple, yellow or orange, white or brown, and lastly, green!
Red or pink:
This category incorporates many of the popular, more accessible fruits. Cherries, pomegranates, apples, grapes, raspberries, the possibilities are endless! Another way to incorporate your daily red could even be as simple as tossing some dried cranberries into your salad.
Blue or purple:
Blueberries take the win as the most common superfood in this category, but don’t forget about plums and purple figs! One cup of prunes surprisingly yields numerous vitamins, especially vitamin K, B, and potassium.
Yellow or orange:
This section is comprised of an abundance of fruits and vegetables that can be utilized in your daily cooking. Options include carrots, corn, lemons, mangoes, oranges, tangerines, yellow peppers; the opportunities are endless!
White or brown:
They may not be included in the rainbow, but they play an important role in a healthy diet! Dates, garlic, mushrooms, onions, and potatoes are great ways to incorporate these colors.
The most avoided by children, but probably the longest list of all! Just a few examples include celery, broccoli, green onions, limes, zucchini, and kale, but don’t be so reluctant yet! Different cooking methods can ease the green category into a much more plausible goal. Massaging dressing into kale leaves mellows any bitter flavor, and zucchini noodles are a healthy alternative to any pasta dish!
Make sure to take advantage of all the colors at your grocery store by transferring them to your plates with delicious recipes. Taste the rainbow!
Life is why, adding color is how. Find more foods that fit into the colors here