Jennifer Anthony, RD, LD

January 14th, 2019

Eat the Rainbow: Benefits of a Colorful Diet

Whether you are setting New Year’s Resolutions or not, a beneficial goal to include on your list for 2019 is adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals. Making our plate more colorful can help to enhance our overall health and help us meet our weight goals. Including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your eating plan can help increase the amount of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants that we intake. This can help reduced our risk for diseases like cancer, help us control our weight, and keep us overall healthy. So if your plate is drab or beige, add some color and eat the rainbow.

Fruits and vegetables don’t always have to be side dishes, they can be added to salads, casseroles, soups, stews, and chili dishes. Many Americans have a difficult time getting fruits and vegetables at breakfast time, so try adding vegetables like bell peppers, onion, and spinach to omelets or breakfast burritos or blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, or bananas to whole wheat pancakes, waffles, cold or cooked cereal. By making our diet more colorful, we can fill up more on fruits and vegetables which may lessen our intake of foods that may be higher in sugar or not as healthy or beneficial for us. May you meet your goals and have a healthy 2019 and don’t forget to eat the rainbow.

Here are a few rainbow recipes to try!

Sweet-Chili Salmon with Blackberries Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Sweet-Chili Salmon with Blackberries

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Sweet Heat Skillet Salmon in Simple & Delicious August/September 2013

Ingredients

1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, divided
4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine blackberries, cucumber, green onion and 1 tablespoon chili sauce; toss to coat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.
  2. Place fillets on greased grill rack, skin side down. Grill, covered, over medium-high heat or broil 4 in. from heat 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, brushing with remaining chili sauce during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Serve with blackberry mixture.

Nutrition Facts

1 fillet with 1/2 cup berry mixture: 303 calories, 16g fat (3g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 30g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1/2 starch.

Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©  Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad in Taste of Home April/May 2015

Ingredients

1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
1 pound fresh strawberries, quartered
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 medium navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 medium kiwifruit, peeled, halved and sliced

DRESSING:
2 to 4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Directions

  1. Place all fruit in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Drizzle over fruit; toss gently to combine.

Nutrition Facts

2/3 cup: 117 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 5g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fruit.

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