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Eat a Rainbow – Be Blue

Welcome to week 5 of our series, Eat a Rainbow. So far we have talked about the health benefits of eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables including: GREEN, RED, and YELLOW/ORANGE.

This week we are talking about foods in the BLUE and PURPLE category.

The fruits and vegetables in this group contain a variety of nutrients important for maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Anthocyanins are antioxidants. Anthocyanins can pass through the blood-brain barrier and therefore can improve brain functions like learning and memory. Anthocyanins are also known to help improve balance, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and cancer. They can also minimize skin damage due to sun exposure. Berries, grapes, eggplant, and purple cabbage are good sources of anthocyanins.

Ellagic Acid, found in berries, is a phytonutrient that may minimize the effect of estrogen on the growth breast cancer cells.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant and phytonutrient. Resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the build up of plaque in the blood vessels, known as atherosclerosis, which can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Resveratrol also helps prevent some cancers. Like anthocyanins, resveratrol can cross the blood-brain barrier making it an important nutrient for protection against Alzheimer’s and dementia. Good sources of resveratrol include: blueberries, cranberries, red/purple grapes, red wine, and raw cocoa.

The BLUE/PURPLE group is quite possibly the most fun and delicious group, with most of the selections being fruits like grapes (aka wine) and blueberries. Thankfully the foods in this group also pack a solid nutritional punch. In combination with foods from the other color groups, blue/purple foods can help round out a healthy diet.

Try these recipes to add more BLUE/PURPLE foods to your daily diet:

Ratatouille
Berry Delicious Avocado Toast


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Berry Delicious Avocado Toast

Sweet berries and creamy avocado come together on crunchy toast for this breakfast favorite! Oh yeah, and it is nutritious! The avocado provides healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and potassium, while the berries supply antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese.

Berry Delicious Avocado Toast

Ingredients:
  • 2 slices multigrain bread or gluten free bread
  • 1 large avocado, ripened
  • 1/3 cup blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup strawberries, rinse and quartered
  • Cinnamon, to taste
Instructions:
  • Scoop avocado into a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.
  • Gently fold in blueberries and strawberries.
  • Toast the bread in a toaster or in a skillet*
  • Top each slice of toast with 1/2 of the avocado mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

Serves 2

*If you do not have a toaster, you can toast the bread in a skillet: brush both sides lightly with butter, place in a skillet preheated over medium heat, grill until lightly browned then flip over and repeat on the other side.

This toast is great alone and makes a terrific side dish to a green salad or eggs.

ENJOY!

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