/ Nutrition

Eat the Rainbow: A Colorful Guide to Food

Summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy the rainbow of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs available in New York City. The colors of fruits and vegetables don’t just look pretty, they indicate the presence of different phytonutrients and vitamins, so it’s important to fill half your plate (or snack!) with fruits and vegetables, and choose a variety of colors to maximize the benefits:

Red indicates carotenoid lycopene, may protect against prostate cancer, heart and lung disease. Examples: tomatoes (cooked), apricots, grapes, peaches, watermelon, and cranberries.

Orange & Yellow indicates beta cryptoxanthin, which supports cell communication and may protect against heart disease. Examples: carrots, oranges, papaya, apples, peaches, tangerines, and pumpkins.

Green indicates sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and indoles, which inhibit the action of cancer-causing compounds. Examples: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and brussell sprouts.

Blue & Purple indicate anthocyanins, which may help delay cellular aging and block the formation of blood clots. Examples: blueberries, blackberries, plums, eggplant, grapes, purple cabbage, and elderberry.

White & Brown indicates allicin and EGCG, which have anti-tumor properties and support the immune system. Examples: garlic, onions, shallots, ginger, mushrooms, potatoes, beans, and lentils.

At God’s Love We Deliver, we procure many of our ingredients locally, including fresh produce and herbs. In fact, we use herbs from our rooftop garden this time of year. When you’re enjoying our home-delivered meals, you can be sure you’re enjoying a rainbow of seasonal, and often local, produce.

You can also find a rainbow of fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ markets, where shopping benefits you, the environment, and local farms. And don’t forget, for every $2 spent using SNAP on an EBT card, you get $2 in Health Bucks, up to $10 a day. Health Bucks are available year-round at NYC farmers markets that accept EBT. Try a new fruit or vegetable every time you visit the farmers’ market to increase variety in your diet.

When shopping at the supermarket, shop the perimeter of the store to focus on whole foods and the produce section. Look for seasonal fruits and vegetables here, too, to save money and benefit from peak freshness. Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious– be sure to choose low-sodium options.

No matter where you get your fruits and vegetables, if you eat the whole food, instead of just the juice, you benefit from fiber, as well as the vitamins and phytonutrients that protect gut health, supporting immunity and digestion. These are all health protective qualities that can protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Don’t forget to eat the rainbow!

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