In Michigan, It’s Easy to Eat the Rainbow {Videos}

Visually, the bins of fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or farmers market are beautiful to look at and tasty as well. So why do so many of us have a hard time eating enough healthy produce?

A recent CDC study found that only one in 10 adults in America consume the daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables.

Eating the proper amount of fruits and vegetables helps prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity, not to mention it’s the best way to ensure your body is getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals.

Fortunately, when you live in Michigan, you never have to travel too far to eat every color of the rainbow.

With so many different foods to choose from, it’s important to have a variety throughout the day. One of the easiest ways to ensure this is to “eat the rainbow” by including colorful produce daily. You can make sure you’re mixing things up by including what’s in season in your daily meals and snacks.

Image of strawberries
Photo credit: Jeff Kubina

Red foods are high in antioxidants and folate, which helps to fight heart disease. Foods such as cherries, are rich in vitamin C and potassium to help lower blood pressure. Cranberries aid in urinary tract health while helping to fight kidney disease, and tomatoes provide lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Whether you’re enjoying a tasty salsa, or eating strawberries for a midafternoon snack, be sure to incorporate a pop of red as you eat throughout the day.

Image of orange bell peppers
Photo credit: Mike Mozart

Orange and yellow foods provide a host of benefits to your skin, hair, and eyes. These foods contain potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zeaxanthin. Orange and yellow foods have been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, fight free radicals to help prevent cancer and boost the immune system. They also contribute to healthier bones and joints. Add carrots or bell peppers to your salad or start your day with a fresh orange to keep your body healthy.

Image of leafy greens
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Green foods, such as leafy greens, kiwi, pears and honeydew, contain vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E, not to mention they’re high in iron and fiber. They are the superfoods your body needs to absorb micronutrients and keep you energized. Next time you’re thirsty, consider adding some cucumbers to your water or bake a zucchini pie for dinner.

Image of blackberries
Photo credit: Tony Hall

Blue and purple foods contain potassium and flavonoids, and help reduce the risk of cancer, fight ulcers and protect against cell damage. Potassium helps carry oxygen throughout the body, which helps decrease inflammation for better health. Try making a blueberry smoothie or add grilled eggplant to your meal-planning for the week.

Image of raw garlic, onions and squash
Photo credit: Marco Verch

White and brown foods reduce inflammation, improve skin health, promote cardiovascular health and contain allicin, which acts as a natural antibiotic. Even though white and brown aren’t typically associated with colors of the rainbow, it’s important to incorporate them into your meals each day. Add some garlic to your favorite rice or pasta dish to naturally boost your immune system or sauté some onions and mushrooms for a flavorful addition to any meal.

Check out these videos for more information about the colorful produce grown across Michigan:

 

 

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Main image photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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