You've heard it before. Eat a variety of foods. When it comes to fruits and vegetables "variety" means eating a variety of color. And the color relates to the type of healthful substances found in plants called phytochemicals.
One type of phytochemical plentiful in fruits and vegetables is called antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells and are thought to help prevent many diseases. There are several types of antioxidants, each one associated with specific diseases and with a particular color group of fruit or vegetable. But, you don't have to memorize complex chemical names to ensure that you are getting antioxidants. Simply fill up your cart with a rainbow of colors whenever you are in the produce section.
For more information on "Eating for Color" refer to Dr. Heber's book What Color is Your Diet?
USDA dietary guidelines recommend at least two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables per day. Fruits and vegetables in any form (fresh, frozen, canned and dried) provide phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins and minerals. In addition to the nutrition that they provide, fruits and vegetables add flavor and variety to your diet. So, add some color to your day and live healthier.