Color Your Diet Healthy with Fruits and Vegetables
The Color of Nutrition
The bright red of a tomato, the sunny yellow of a pineapple... sure, they look pretty, but those vibrant hues aren't just eye candy. Each shade represents the phytonutrients plants make to protect themselves from sunlight, disease, soil problems, and extreme temperatures. "Plants can't put on a hat or wear sunscreen, so in order to survive, they create chemicals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects," explains James A. Joseph, PhD, chief of the neuroscience lab at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. "When we eat produce, these substances are passed to us."
Both the government and the nonprofit Produce for Better Health Foundation say active women should aim for at least nine servings of fruits and veggies per day (half a cup equals one serving). To find out exactly how many cups you need each day, log on to mypyramid.gov. Then dig into these healthy picks.
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