taste the rainbow

27May13

As a professor of nutrition, I certainly preach the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. But have you ever stopped to think about why they’re vital to our health?

vegetables
(Image courtesy of Suat Eman, FreeDigitalPhotos)

The textbooks I use still tell students to get about 5-9 servings of produce per day. I believe this information is sorely outdated, and maybe because a larger number would scare Americans away from consuming any in the first place. Plant foods, especially brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, contain compounds that protect against oxidation (antioxidants), protect against cancer, and ward off inflammation.

And those who have MS, or any other autoimmune disease, know that our disease is strongly correlated with systemic inflammation. inflammation is shown to even make things worse for us.

So, of course, I’ve been biasing my diet toward a lot of fresh produce–not only for my MS, but it’s also good in so many other ways, including all of the fiber for heart and colon health, and all of the hydration it provides.

If you’re intimidated by where to start–and I was, too–read this list of tips on incorporation of fruits and veggies from Clean Cuisine’s Ivy Larson. Smoothies are great, and you don’t taste any of the greens!

More importantly, get a good variety of colors in your diet–make sure you taste the rainbow of produce, and your body will thank you! I’m sure it has helped keep my symptoms in remission.

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