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By Nicole Spain, Registered Dietitian
April 3rd is National Find a Rainbow Day! If the weather cooperates, then with a little rain and sunshine you might get to see a rainbow in the sky. If not, try creating a rainbow on your plate instead! These snack ideas are not only fun to eat, but the colors of the rainbow also provide lots of health benefits, too!
RED fruits and vegetables are full of LYCOPENE, a powerful antioxidant that can improve heart health and lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
ORANGE fruits and vegetables provide a good source of BETA CAROTENE, a precursor of vitamin A which is good for our immune systems and eye health.
YELLOW fruits and veggies get their pigment from LUTEIN. Lutein is considered THE “eye” vitamin. Our body uses it to prevent eye diseases including macular degeneration and cataracts.
GREEN fruits and veggies get their color from CHLOROPHYLL which has many benefits in our bodies including skin healing, reducing inflammation, improving quality of red blood cells, and detoxification.
BLUE/PURPLE fruits and a few veggies contain ANTHOCYANIN which is a powerful phytochemical that improves immune function, prevents fatigue, reduces blood pressure and reduces risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
Before baking top, a cheese pizza with the following veggies in a circular pattern starting with the inside: red onions, broccoli, spinach, corn, orange peppers, and cherry tomatoes.
Rainbow Fruit Cup
In a clear cup place the following fruits in this order: blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, cantaloupe & strawberries. Place a dollop of yogurt on top to represent a cloud!
Veggie Rainbow & Dip
The following veggies can be laid on a plate to resemble a rainbow: Red Peppers or tomatoes, yellow peppers, carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers and Diced beets. Place sliced egg whites on the side to represent the cloud and serve a with yellow pot of gold creamy honey mustard dip!