Color the key for National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month and with this year’s “Eat Right With Color” theme, the American Dietetic Association urges Americans to include a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy on their plates every day.

“Adding a splash of colorful, seasonal foods to your plate makes for more than just a festive meal,” registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Karen Ansel stated in a news release. “A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients, each with a different bundle of potential benefits for a healthful eating plan.”

Ansel offers ways to brighten up your plate with this quick color guide:

Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks. Fruits include avocados, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwis and limes. Vegetables include artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and spinach.

Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables have nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity and reduce cancer risks. Fruits include apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mangoes, papaya, peaches and pineapples. Vegetables include carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes.

Purple and blue options may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks. Fruits include blackberries, blueberries, plums and raisins.

Vegetables include eggplant, purple cabbage and purple-fleshed potatoes.

Red produce may help maintain a healthy heart, vision and immunity and may reduce cancer risks. Fruits include cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit, red grapes and watermelon.

Vegetables include beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes and tomatoes.

White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks. Fruits include bananas, brown pears, dates and white peaches. Vegetables include cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, turnips, white-fleshed potatoes and white corn.