March is National Nutrition Month® and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) encourages you to add a little color and nutrition to your meal! This year's theme is "Eat Right with Color" and the ADA is encouraging everyone to get back to the basics of healthy eating by focusing on a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.
A plate of colorful foods is visually appealing and increases the nutritional quality of your meals. Instead of grilled chicken and mashed potatoes, consider a more colorful plate like grilled chicken topped with salsa and a side of mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach salad with orange slices.
The ADA offers these tips to brighten up your plate for optimal nutrition:
Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce your risk of developing some cancers.
- Fruits: avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi and lime
- Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens (spinach, romaine lettuce, etc.)
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity and reduce the risk of some cancers.
- Fruits: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach and pineapple
- Vegetables: carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes
Purple and blue options may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and help with memory, urinary tract health and reduce your risk of developing some types of cancer.
- Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, plums and raisins
- Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage and purple-fleshed potato
Red indicates produce that may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce your risk of some cancers.
- Fruits: tomatoes, cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes and watermelon
- Vegetables: beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes and rhubarb
White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce your risk of some cancers.
- Fruits: banana, brown pear, dates and white peaches
- Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn