Maybe it’s still just wishful thinking on our part, but our clocks are already set to spring. And with spring often comes rainbows – which makes March a great time for National Nutrition Month.If you’re not making the connection, perhaps you’ve never heard of the “Eat the Rainbow” push in schools and other places where healthy eating is promoted. The name says it all: in order to ensure a balance diet, people of all ages should try to get as much color in their food as possible.It’s a diet that is as easy to follow as it is to understand. Here is a simple guide to share with your senior on eating the rainbow:Red: improves heart and blood health and supports joints. The lycopene that gives many red fruits and vegetables their color has been shown to protect against many different kinds of cancer, including lung, colon, esophagus, breast, skin and prostate.Orange: If your food is orange (and it’s not a Tic Tac), chance are it has beta-carotene in it. Fill up on this powerful antioxidant to delay cognitive decline, support eye health and protect skin from sun damage. Orange foods are also generally high in Vitamin A, which fights free radicals, and Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and can help prevent cardiovascular disease.Yellow: Yellow foods, including yellow peppers, corn, yellow squashes, pineapple and a host of others, are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities due to the carotenoids and bioflavonoids contained within.Green: The benefits of eating your greens have been touted since the dawn of time – and rightly so. They are low in carbs and calories and packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect your immune system and help protect against cellular damage. Broc on!Blue: Blueberries are a well-known blue superfood and have antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that can help prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and a whole host of other ills. They also help prevent and ease UTIs. Purple: Purple fruits like grapes, plums, blackberries, figs, eggplant, and purple varieties of other vegetables like carrots, potatoes, cabbage and cauliflower are brimming with antioxidants. In fact, a good rule of thumb: the darker the fruit or veg, the more antioxidants it has. Purple foods also contain resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure and improve circulation.For more information about helping seniors live their healthiest life, please contact Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400.
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