You know I’m not talking about the sprinkles on your festive cupcakes right? Or the colored chocolate chips in your sugar cookies? I know, I know. While those make for some festive decor, believe it or not, they don’t provide you with much nutritional value. But goodness are they cute and you should definitely add one to your plate for dessert!
I’m actually talking about the naturally occurring red, white, and blue foods! Not only do they look great on a table spread, they have gobs of good nutrition in them too. Plus, how delicious are cold berries and watermelon slices on a hot July day? It just doesn’t get much more 4th of July than that. Well maybe hot dogs, but those are for another blog post.
Let’s look at the benefits of these colorful foods and why you should eat them!
Red foods such as strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, and cherries provide vitamin A, vitamin C, lycopene, potassium, and other antioxidants which help fight off free radicals (the little guys that cause damage to your body). These red foods also help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol, and can help decrease blood pressure.
White foods such as bananas, potatoes, pears, cauliflower, and white peaches provide potassium, vitamin C, folate, fiber, beta-glucans which is a type of fiber that helps keep the heart healthy and can help in the fight against certain cancers.
Blue and purplish blue foods like blueberries, blackberries, grapes, elderberries, and plums contain anthocyanins which are a special kind of antioxidant known to help with brain function as well as lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer. They also may play a role in fighting infections like the flu and even urinary tract infections.
Can you see a theme with these colorful foods? They really do provide so many health benefits and should be incorporated in your diet as much as possible.
This 4th of July, see how colorful you can make your plate. Grilled foods are popular go-to’s and I love them for the protein they provide, but you should also add pops of color to your plate by adding these colorful fruits and vegetables. The fiber they provide will help keep you feeling fuller even longer which may help prevent you from snacking all day.
Here are 3 colorful, nutritious ideas for you this 4th of July:
- Red white and blue fruit bowl. Mix strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and banana slices in a bowl for a festive, fiber-filled side.
- Fruit trifle. Mix chunks of your favorite cake with red and blue fruit for a colorful, light dessert.
- Fruit and cheese skewers. Put strawberries, mozzarella cheese, and blueberries on wooden skewers for a cute balanced snack.
Make sure to enjoy your meals and snacks this 4th of July. Fill your plate with a good variety of foods, drink a lot of water, and do something active if you can. Most importantly, enjoy the holiday with your friends and family!