How many times have you ordered a restaurant's "garden salad," and it showed up looking nothing like a garden. Gardens are typically rich with color and variety. At best, your so-called garden salad included a few leaves of iceberg lettuce, some cucumber wedges and a tomato slice or two. If your taste buds felt cheated, your cells felt down-right deprived.
Your cells cannot survive without a variety of vitamins. And there's no better way to ensure you're getting a full gamut than eating an assortment of plants in an array of colors.
When you eat the rainbow, your body benefits from these vitamins:
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1. Green: Potassium, folic acid, vitamin C and the antioxidant lutein, which improves vision. Green plants are also high in vitamin K, which helps regulate the normal clotting of blood.
2. Purple: Phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help prevent a number of age-related diseases.
3. Red: Anthocyanins, phytochemicals and lycopene, which is a cancer-fighting agent.
4. Orange: Betacarotene and vitamin C, which is best known for strengthening the immune system.
5. White: Phytochemicals and potassium, which is a health insurer that enhances muscular strength, metabolism, water balance and electrolyte functions.
Next time you make a salad, or any dish, challenge yourself to include as many colors as possible.
What's your nutrition quick tip? Leave it in the comments or email your tip to nutrition editor Nicole Reino.
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