And, don't forget, most fruits and vegetables are considered zero P+ by Weight Watchers, so eat to your heart's content and to your appetite's satisfaction!
I hope you don’t think of nutrition as a Black-or-White issue. Actually it is a whole variety of colors… all the colors of the rainbow!
Red Orange-Yellow Green Blue-Purple and White
The more different colors we can work into our meal plans, the better off we are, nutritionally. Every color grouping has its own health benefits and the more of them we can take advantage of, the better for us, and the more delicious our menus become.
So here are the colors, some of the fruits and veggies included, and some nutrients and health benefits they offer:
Tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, beets, watermelon, red peppers, cranberries, raspberries, radishes, red cabbage, pink grapefruit, red apples, rhubarb, red grapes
Red foods contain lycopene that helps rid the body of damaging free radicals, protects against prostate cancer, as well as heart and lung disease. The red foods are loaded with antioxidants thought to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots and may also delay the aging of cells in the body.
Mangoes, tangerines, oranges, lemons, squashes, papayas, peaches, apricots, carrots, pineapple, corn, yellow tomatoes, yellow and orange peppers, pears, cantaloupe, nectarines, grapefruit, persimmons, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yellow apples
Orange-yellow foods contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer, and beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A protecting the skin against free-radical damage. Beta-carotene is also good for night vision.
Avocadoes, limes, spinach, kale, lettuce, herbs of all kinds, green apples, green peppers, brussel sprouts, artichokes, broccoli, asparagus, sea vegetables, cucumber, green onions, peas, green beans, zucchini, green grapes, kiwi, honeydew melon, celery, green cabbage
Green foods contain chemicals that help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. Chlorophyll is the component that makes plant green, and is purifying in the body. Many of the green foods also contain calcium and other healthful minerals.
Blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, plums, purple grapes, figs, raisins
Blue-purple foods contain the compound anthocyanins that have been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and increasing heart health.
Bananas, onions, mushrooms, jicama, potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, parsnips, turnips
Challenge yourself to try a new fruit or a new vegetable every week.
Sometimes my friends and I play a game to see how many colors we can work in on a daily basis. We call it the Rainbow Game, and the one who eats the most different freggies in a day, is the winner.
Or sometimes we will declare a color of the day, and concentrate on eating fruit and vegetables in that particular color. It is is fun to see if we can keep coming up with new ones to try. In the Fall, Orange-Yellow is my favorite.
Here are some Featured Recipes that are particularly colorful:
- My Sister's Best Borscht
- Veggie-ful Omelet
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- Crunch Lunch
- Sunshine Salad
- Black Bean and Couscous Salad
- Simple Sauce for Pasta
- Warm Peanut and Sesame Noodles
- Pretty-in-Pink Pick Me Up