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Eating rainbows: three things to help implement more color in your meals

Last month we spoke about the benefits of eating from the rainbow. This method helps increase nutrients in our diet, and as a result, helps prevent disease. So, today we want to review a few tips that can help incorporate this method into your daily routine.

When planning your menu there are a few things that can help you, for instance: It’s best to consume vegetables as fresh as possible. This doesn’t mean that cooking them is a bad thing, but it’s recommended to use a light preparation. Try cooking without too much oil, and avoid frying the vegetables when you can–steaming and grilling are better options.

Additionally, be cautious with the amount of time you boil vegetables.  Boiling incorrectly can reduce the amount of nutrients you receive from the vegetables, which is something we want to avoid.

One more thing you want to avoid, when eating fruits and vegetables, is the excessive use of sauces, dips, or toppings, especially if you are watching your weight. If buying fresh fruit and vegetables is not an option for you, frozen is great!

To optimize balance in your meals, try to eat with the season. Meaning, choose those vegetables and fruits that are “in season.” This has a lot of benefits, including variation and higher nutrient intake. Another benefit is for your wallet.  In-season fruits and vegetables are less expensive due to plentiful production, which is a win-win situation for you.

With all these things said, let’s talk about how you can eat the rainbow at every meal.

  1. Let’s start by making sure to incorporate two or three different colored fruits or vegetables at every meal and in at least one snack.
  2. You don’t have to have every single color every day. You can alternate every 3-4 days, weekly or bi-weekly. Concentrate more in total rather than each meal.
  3. Here are some great examples to try:

Breakfast: omelet with spinach, mushroom, and tomato.

Snack can be a banana smoothie with dragon fruit and avocado

Lunch and dinner: Chicken with roasted sweet potatoes, onions, Brussels sprouts, and garlic.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute these options with plant-based proteins of your choice.

There are so many vegetables and fruits to choose from, so many ways to enjoy them, and a lot of opportunities to include them in your diet. You'll find it's easy to create a "colorful" diet that’s satisfying, nutritious and delicious!