How’s your diet? And, we’re not asking you to think about the diet that helps you lose weight, rather the nutritional value of the food you consume. Living a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating, becomes more of a challenge as you age. You might not feel like cooking like you once did or perhaps you’re indulging your sweet tooth a bit more. Whatever unhealthy eating habits you’ve adopted into your lifestyle, we’ll help get you on track in our six part Eating Well, Aging Well series.
First let’s start with colorful meals. After all who can resist a colorful meal? They look appetizing, taste yummy and, best of all, they’re healthy. Colorful meals provide important benefits to your body.
Boxed chicken, broccoli, tomatoes and squash meal.
Put Color on Your Plate
A very important recommendation when you prepare your meals is to put color on your plate! Colors in fruits, vegetables and other foods have shown to be components of a healthy diet. The compound in these food items is called antioxidants, which are helpful for fighting diseases. They help trap free radicals in your body, which can cause damage to your organs.
Different colors, different contributions
Every color of food contributes different antioxidants in your diet. Fruits and vegetables that have the same color also have the similar types of benefits. The key is to consume a variety of colors every day. Half of your plate should be half full of fruits and vegetables and a quarter of it should include protein, making for a fulfilling balanced meal.
Many blue and purple fruits and vegetables are perfect for the taste buds and can help with memory function, urinary tract health and cancer prevention. Some examples include:
Yellow and orange foods provide heart, vision, immune function and cancer prevention health benefits. Try incorporating the following into your meals.
There are a lot of great yellow and green foods that are delicious and offer amazing health benefits including vision, bone and teeth health as well as preventing cancer. Consider eating:
The health benefits from red shaded fruits and vegetables are heart health, memory function, urinary-tract health and cancer prevention. Tasty, traditional and terrific for your health. Experiment with these foods:
The health benefits from white/green shaded fruits and vegetables are heart health, cholesterol control and cancer prevention. You have so many great choices, such as:
Other Foods with Antioxidants
Antioxidants are great for your diet and taste! Colorful fruits and vegetables will provide you with antioxidants as well as white, green and black tea. If you love consuming drinks with antioxidants, then you will be happy to know wine is another choice with antioxidant benefits.
After all this hard work of eating a colorful plate of fruits, vegetables and other food items, you deserve a treat. Lucky for you, dark chocolate is another source of antioxidants. Enjoy a dark chocolate strawberry for dessert. After all, it is good for your body and taste buds!