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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Vary Your Colors for a Healthier You



Have you been to a Farmer’s Market yet this spring?  A little early in some parts of the country but we are enjoying fresh asparagus and fresh strawberries.  So many fresh fruits will be available soon.  Choosing fruits of different colors is important to good health.  Why?  Because each color has unique health benefits.  Fruits are good sources of vitamins A and C and of fiber but also antioxidants.  Different color fruits provide different antioxidants.  Not only are vitamins and minerals good for your health but so are antioxidants.  They help prevent cancer, heart disease, and improve eye health, help your bones, and fruits like blueberries have been shown to improve memory.   The article, Berry Good Health, discusses the many benefits of eating fruit, especially berries. 

For good health, vary the fruit, vary the color.  Aim for at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day.  Enjoy fruit, fresh, frozen or dried.  The many different antioxidants in berries and some other fruit are noted below.
Fruit
Ways to Add these to your Day
Nutrients and Antioxidants
Blackberries
Enjoy fresh, on a scoop of ice cream, on top of yogurt,  in a smoothie
Vitamins C and K,minerals potassium, fiber.  Antioxidants:  ellagic acid, quercetin, tannins, anthocyanins.
Blueberries
Fresh, freeze some for later, in a smoothie, on top of yogurt, mixed with raspberries, on top of oatmeal
Vitamins C and K:  minerals: manganese, copper, resveratrol, anthocyanins, flavonols
Cranberries
Easy to cook and make cranberry sauce, if dried, buy the reduced sugar ones, add to trail mixes, cereal, salads
Vitamin C, minerals: manganese, potassium, copper and fiber. Antioxidants:  resveratrol, ellagic acid, anthocyanins.
Raspberries
Smoothies, on yogurt, mixed with blueberries, on a scoop of ice cream
Vitamin K, fiber. Antioxidants:  quercetin, tannins, anthocyanin, catechins.
Strawberries
Slice up, add a little sugar, a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy, add to fresh fruit salad, top off your yogurt, great on ice cream.
Vitamins C and folate, minerals: potassium and manganese, fiber.   Antioxidants:  gallic acid, ellagic acid, flavonols, tannins, anthocyanins.
 
If berries are in season in your area, visit a Farmer’s Market.   If not, at the store, buy some berries, fresh or frozen to enjoy this week. 



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