Good morning everyone! I hope you’re all doing wonderful this morning! I am off to school and have a busy day ahead of me. I have a great Guest Post from Nan Gibbons at Eat Breathe Blog!
Here she is:
I’m almost always thinking from a health mindset being a licensed nutritionist and personal trainer by day. But when I recently got coverage on personal health insurance it seemed like I was doing everything in my power to incorporate an even healthier style of living into my household. So, I started to delve into my nutrition books as I tried to give both my three year old son, Reid, and myself the most balanced and nutrition filled meals as possible.
One of the most important things you can do is to have a “colorful” meal. Obviously, you want to see a lot of green on your plate, but you also want to add a wide variety of different colors into your diet. I’ve told many of my customers that they want to try and make their dinner plates look as much like a painter’s palette as possible. The more colors on your plate, the better as you will have a more varied and healthy diet. Here’s a list of the different colors you should see on your plate and the importance of each one:
Green: the obvious color you want to have in your meals as green fruits and vegetables contain the green chlorophyll pigment and are loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. These important nutrients strengthen blood and respiratory systems, provide good retinal health and vision, and lower your risk for cancer.
Red: these fruits and vegetables contain lycopene which will lessen your risk of heart problems, prostate cancer, blood pressure, arthritis, and bad cholesterol. They also contain key antioxidants that prevent cell damage.
Orange and Yellow: these foods contain carotenoids and carry beta-carotene, potassium, and vitamin A, key nutrients to combat cancer and heart disease risks, boost the immune system, promotes good eyesight, and reduces age related macular deterioration.
Blue and Purple: these fruits and vegetables are colored by anthocyanins which serve as powerful antioxidants. These foods are important in reducing the risk of cancer and also improve calcium and mineral absorption.
It’s important to have a variety of these colors in your meals, but you also want to have as balanced of a meal as possible. Meals used to be centered around a chunk of protein surrounding with starch like potatoes or rice and vegetables like green beans. However, today you’ll find that this meal plan is often thrown by the wayside as diets should be based more on grains, fruits, and vegetables instead. While meat is important (there’s nothing wrong with a nice steak dinner every now and then), it just shouldn’t be the focus as you should add in more whole grain breads, pastas, fruits, and vegetables into your meals. And don’t forget about those important colors! By incorporating a more colorful and balanced diet, you’ll be on track to a better, healthier lifestyle.