For better health, eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Find your pot of gold at the end of the health rainbow by eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables. A simple tip for kids and adults alike is that the darker the color, the more nutrients per forkful!
What Constitutes a Serving?
- One medium-sized fruit
- 1/2 cup cooked, frozen, or canned fruit or vegetable
- 3/4 cup 100% fruit or vegetable juice
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
- One cup raw, leafy vegetables
- 1/2 cup dry peas or beans
Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, collard, turnip, and mustard greens, and cabbage contain substances called antioxidants. Theses antioxidants fight poisons in our bodies that may lead to heart disease and cancer. Some antioxidants in these rich, green vegetables also help protect your eyes and help maintain good vision.
Red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, beets, and red apples also contain those health-promoting phytochemicals. These deep red and bright pink fruits and vegetables contain substances that help reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer, and also contain antioxidants that help control high blood pressure.
This bright color found in sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, oranges, apricots, and tangerines are full of phytochemicals that help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, help maintain good eyesight, and help boost your immune system.
Yellow fruits and vegetables like corn, pears, and pineapple have many of the benefits of orange fruits and vegetables. Corn and pears are also high in dietary fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol and reduces the risk of certain cancers.
Examples of these include blueberries, blackberries, plums, grapes, prunes, and raisins. They contain substances that help reduce the risk of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Courtesy of Alabama Department of Public Health