Color is critical to a healthy diet

Good Morning CT at Nine

(WTNH) — Color is critical when it comes to eating healthy. Registered Dietitian Pat Baird explains the benefits of a colorful diet.

Get Your Blues on with Anthocyanins:

  • Anthocyanin gives red/blue/purple color to blueberries, red onions, kidney beans and tomatoes
  • The latest research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that adding a cup of blueberries reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke 
  • Blood flow and elasticity of blood vessels improved; people had higher levels of anthocyancin in their blood
  • This research adds to the growing evidence that blueberries can be part of a healthy eating pattern to improve heart health.
  • Easy to add in smoothies, yogurt parfaits, salads, etc.

Go Red, Yellow and Orange with Carotenoids:

  • Carotenoids show as bright red, yellow, orange, yellow in foods; over 600 in the family
  • They improve immune function, lower risk of vision problems and cancer; some convert to vitamin A, and are best absorbed with fat
  • Choose carrots, avocados, tomatoes, summer squash and kale 
  • Canned, fresh and frozen provide benefits

Curcumin in Tumeric:

  • This compound gives tumeric its distinctive color and flavor
  • Tumeric is now being studied for its role in osteoarthritis, diabetes and obesity
  • There are other compounds is tumeric  that appear to inhibit bacteria and fungi in the body

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