Colorful diet helps health

By Naomi Sell • Published: March 5th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

As a child, everyone is told to eat their fruits and vegetables. But how much more enjoyable would it be if kids were told to pick their vegetables based on color?

Health experts say eating an assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables is one way to help keep you and your family healthy this flu season.

It turns out that the colorful pigments in these foods help to boost your immunity. These pigments are known as phytonutrients. Not only do they give foods their distinct color, they also provide many health benefits. And as we know, the primary benefit during flu season is a robust immune system.

Foods are separated into five color catgories: red, yellow and orange, green, blue and purple, and white. In addition to priming the body to thwart the flu, the different nutrients from these colors help strengthen different parts of the body.

Naturally, red fruits and vegetables like cranberries and tomatoes are important for a healthy heart. And while most people know that carrots are good for your eyes, so are other yellow and orange foods like pineapple and squash. The remaining groups help to reduce the effects of aging, inhibit high cholesterol and prevent some cancers.

Getting a widespread mix of different phytonutrients is key to good health. For maximum benefit, people should consume two foods from each of the five color categories daily.

So this flu season, don’t just stock your kitchen with a variety of fruits and vegetables… color up your diet with a rainbow of options!