When eating at home, it’s hard at times to eat nutritiously.  Junk food is so easy to buy and eat.  These foods are a great “once-and-a-while” treat, but our bodies need the vitamins and minerals that the nutritious foods provide. An excellent way to find nutritious foods is to look for the colors.  The more colors on your plate, the better.  Here are a few colors that will brighten up your plate and help your body stay well (International Council on Active Aging, ICAA).

Steaming mixed vegetables in the wok, Asian style cookingDeep yellow and orange colors.  Fruits and vegetables that are yellow and orange promote healthy immune systems and vision.  Some examples of fruits are cantaloupe, mango, grapefruit, peach, and pineapple.  Carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn, and sweet potatoes are great yellow and orange vegetables.

Green colors.  Green fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and also help promote healthy vision.  Avocados, apples, honeydew, kiwi, lime, broccoli, green beans, and leafy greens are great examples of green foods to eat.

Red colors.  Red vegetables and fruits help maintain a healthy heart, vision, and immune system.  Cherries, cranberries, watermelon, beets, red potatoes, tomatoes, and red grapes are foods that will provide the red you need in your diet.

Brown, white and tan colors.  Bananas, white peaches, onions, turnips, mushrooms, dates, and white potatoes contain nutrients that help the heart.

Purple and blue colors.  Blueberries, blackberries, raisins, purple cabbage, eggplant, and plums have antioxidants and anti-aging benefits that may help our memory.

Each of these colored foods may also help to reduce the risk of cancer.  The next time you go to the grocery store, visit the produce section, and challenge yourself to buy the foods with color.  I’ve heard it said from people that when they started to eat nutritious foods, they lost their taste for the junk foods.  Here’s hoping that you’re choosing the foods full of color and nutrition. 

Jonathan Souder is the Fitness Director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Delaware. This column appeared in the April 23, 2020 edition of the Seaford Star.