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This month we have a special guest columnist, Lyndsey Malkovich, a student intern from Oakland University’s Wellness, Health Promotion & Injury Prevention program.

fruit bowlIf like me, you have “candy-aholic” tendencies, you may recognize the phrase, “Taste the Rainbow!” as being the tagline for the candy Skittles. Though snacking on Skittles might help satisfy your sweet tooth, it’s not going to do much for your health.

Rather than indulge in a rainbow of colorful candy, you’d be much better off if, when preparing your meals, you filled your plate with fruits, vegetables and other colorful whole foods. Doing so will help ensure you eat a variety of foods and thus get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.

Below is a list of foods that match the colors of the rainbow along with some of their potential health benefits. If they aren’t already a part of your diet, you might want to consider adding them.

  • Red (may help reduce cancer risk) - apples, tomatoes, red peppers, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, cranberries, cherries, red grapes, pomegranate, beets.
  • Orange/Yellow (may help improve immune function) – oranges, grape fruit, mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, pineapple, peaches, winter squash, cantaloupe, corn.
  • Green (may boost the immune system) - broccoli, spinach, peas, kale, arugula, avocado, edamame, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, kiwi fruit, romaine lettuce, Brussel sprouts.
  • Blue/Purple (may help reduce inflammation) – blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, plums, prunes, figs, purple grapes, purple cabbage.
  • White/brown (may help reduce cancer risk) – cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, parsnips, jicama (Mexican turnip).

For more information on eating healthy visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/.