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March is National Nutrition Month

The American Dietetic Association is encouraging people to "Eat Right With Color" during March, which they have designated National Nutrition Month®. The idea behind "Eat Right With Color" is to get Americans to include more fruits and vegetables in their diet as part of an overall nutrition plan, along with daily physical activity to combat obesity.

 
What is the Purpose of National Nutrition Month?
The purpose behind the campaign is to make people more aware of the benefits of nutrition planning. A diet of colorful fruits and vegetables insures that people get all the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they need to prevent obesity, malnutrition and other disorders related to nutrient deprivation.
 
What Are the Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables of Different Colors?
"A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients," said ADA Spokesperson Karen Ansel, one of the organizers behind the National Nutrition Month® campaign. A quick guide shows how each color relates to overall nutrition:
 
Blue and purple produce can help slow down the aging process and improve memory. Foods such as blueberries, plums and eggplant contain many of these vital nutrients.
Green vegetables, including asparagus, broccoli, and spinach, contain antioxidants vital to healthy cell growth.
Orange and yellow produce, such as grapefruit, pineapple and carrots, have vitamins and minerals that reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
Red produce supports immunity, vision and coronary health with nutrients found in cherries, red onions and tomatoes.
White foods (bananas, cauliflower, onions) also have nutrients that can lower the risk of some types of cancer.
How Important is Adding Fruits and Vegetables to the Success of a Nutrition Plan?
A study by the Centers for Disease Control found that only one-third of all Americans eat at least two servings of fruits and vegetables per day. At the same time, the obesity rate has skyrocketed. A report by the World Health Organization shows that the US has the third highest obesity rate in the world.
 
How Does Physical Activity Relate to a Nutrition Plan?
The ADA also recommends daily physical activity, such as walking, running or riding a bicycle, to fight obesity. While the nutrition plan is the primary component of a healthy lifestyle, scheduled physical activity also leads to improved heart health, lung capacity and mental outlook.

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