New Report: Americans Need More Red, Orange and Green

AmericaVegetable basketns need to add some pizzazz to our plates, specifically more colorful vegetables – red, green and orange according to a new report by the USDA. These veggies are important for overall health and in your cancer-fighting diet. Their low calories help with weight control and potent phytochemicals like carotenoids, vitamin C and flavonoids help keep cells healthy.

The report says we’re now eating about 1/4 cup daily per 1000 calories of these vegetables, far below the recommendation. The US Dietary Guidelines say you should eat at least double that. If you’re a woman you need at least 3/4 to 1 cup daily, men need at least 1 – 1 1/2 cups every day.

*For a 2,000 calorie diet Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Food Consumption and Nutrient Intakes Data Product

*For a 2,000 calorie diet
Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Food Consumption and Nutrient Intakes Data Product

Fortunately, this plate redesign doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Here are 5 ways to get your 1 cup of colored veggies: Continue reading

Adding Red to Your Rice

A whole new world of whole grains is opening up to us these days, and rice alone comes in a host of varieties. You may have eaten basmati rice at an Indian restaurant, green “Bamboo” rice or even black rice that actually cooks up to be dark purple and is popular in China and Thailand.canstockphoto12136641

This week’s Health-e-Recipe is for Red Rice Dressing. The phytonutrient called anthocyanin – also present in red berries – creates its hue. Red rice is grown in countries as far-flung as France and Bhutan. (Don’t confuse it with “red yeast rice,” a supposedly medicinal substance used in traditional Chinese medicine.) Red rice contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals.

All rice provides about the same number of calories in a half-cup serving: about 200. But brown, wild and colored rices can contain more cancer-fighting fiber thanks to their whole-grain status from retaining their germ and bran, versus white rice that has had these fiber extras refined out of them. Not all exotic rice is a whole grain, either: if you’re looking for basmati or jasmine rice, for example, choose brown versions to get the most fiber.

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Chill Out with Fruit Soup

fruit-soup croppedFor a refreshing and healthy change, try ourHealth-e-Recipe for Chilled Fruit Soup with Berries.

Six kinds of fruit go into this slightly tropical tasting soup. First, cubed cantaloupe and both fresh and frozen strawberries and blended together with apples into a delicious pink colored liquid with a touch of lemon juice and sugar. Cantaloupe contains beta-carotene and strawberries supply you with vitamin C, while apples are a good source of cancer-fighting compounds like flavonoids.

Then fresh raspberries and blueberries decorate the soup, adding their own protective compounds of ellagic acid and anthocyanins. With only 140 calories per serving, you get 5 grams of fiber and a winning soup or smoothie to sip. If you refrigerate any leftover soup and it separates, just stir it up before serving a second time.

Find more delicious cancer-preventive recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.