In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle people need between 30 and 60 minutes of activity each day, plenty of water, enough sleep to feel rested and at least 2 cups of fruits and 3 cups of vegetables in their diets daily.
The simplest way to remember what fruits and vegetables to eat is to think of the rainbow. Differently colored fruits and vegetables have different positive effects on your body. As you need five cups of fruits or vegetables each day, remember to eat something red, orange/yellow, green, blue/purple and white each and every day. These five colors equal the five servings that your body needs to be nourished.
The reds (beets, cranberries, raspberries) contain lycopenes and powerful antioxidants which protect your body from several cancers while keeping your cells strong.
Oranges or yellows (carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes) have carotenoids. These help your mucous membranes and eyes while also helping to reduce cancer and heart disease while helping your immune system.
The greens (broccoli, spinach and apples) contain chlorophyll and lutein which protect against cancer while protecting your eyes and reducing birth defects.
Blues and purples (blueberries, figs and eggplant) have anthocyamins which reduce cancer, stroke and heart disease while helping with memory and anti-aging compounds.
Finally, the whites (bananas, cauliflower and ginger) contain anthoxanthins which can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
When eating these foods, remember to limit peeling in order to preserve the fiber content. Steam, broil or microwave in small amounts of water in order to preserve the beneficial compounds of the food you are eating. Remember to eat the foods promptly after cooking because the longer foods stand, the more nutrients are lost. .
Be happy on the inside – eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Visit www.ShareKitchen.org for more information and upcoming events.