Monday, March 11, 2013

Eat Your Colors

I love the produce section in all its splendor. All the rich, vibrant colors: Greens, oranges, reds, yellows, purples, on and on. Not only are fruits and vegetables a beautiful sight, but those colors actually play a role in our overall health. There are a number of reasons to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

1. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with good stuff, phtyonutrients and antioxidants. Phytyonutrients are important because they may prevent illness, disease, and keep your body working properly. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. A diet rich in antioxidants can help you fight off colds, flu, and other infections.

The more and more research and reading I've done, the more convinced I am that a plant based diet is the way to go. I still haven't cut meat completely out of my diet and honestly probably won't, but I've decreased the amount of meat I eat and I make sure the meat I'm buying is good quality, lean cuts, and of course, over the last year I've upped the fruits and vegetables considerably. I'm proud to say, due to my high fruit and vegetable intake this was the first winter that I did not get a cold, or the flu.

2. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories (See a great visual below) and provide satiety. Depending on how you prepare your fruits and vegetables you can fill up on them guilt free. Raw with no additives is always the best.

3. Fruits and vegetables are a natural source of fiber. Fiber aids in a healthy digestive tract.  A high-fiber diet may also help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

So, there you have it, three good reasons why you should eat your colors.  At the very basic level, just think about it -- fruits and vegetables are of the earth, they're nature's goods -- eat up!

My suggestions on how to sneak in more fruits and vegetables:

-Serve fruit/vegetables at breakfast. Add fruit to your breakfast cereal or yogurt. Add vegetables to omelets.
- Make a salad into a meal. Add a few ounces of chicken, turkey, fish, or beans a top
spinach leaves or romaine lettuce. Easy on the salad dressing it can add calories

- Drink your fruits/vegetables. Add berries or a banana along with kale to yogurt and juice to make a smoothie. 

- Don't over think this...Just return to the basics: Oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc.

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The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News