LatinaLista -- March may be more widely recognized as Women's History Month but it's also the time of year to celebrate National Nutrition Month. These days, with everyone focused on being the "biggest loser," or wondering if they should "ask Jenni," nutrition is becoming synonymous with losing weight.
Fortunately, for many people, losing weight can be a natural byproduct of eating nutritiously -- without sacrificing the needed vitamins and minerals. An important morsel of news since Latinos are recognized as being one of the three groups who lead the nation in obesity (the other are blacks and Native Americans.)
Yet, aside from losing the junk food or cutting down on sugar, how is a person supposed to know what is nutritious?
Well, this year's theme for National Nutrition Month provides an easy answer. "Eat Right with Color" sets the table for what people should be putting on their plates, according to the American Dietetic Association.
Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks.
Fruits: avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi and lime
Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity, and reduce the risk of some cancers.
Fruits: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach and pineapple
Vegetables: 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: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins
Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato
Red indicates produce that may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks.
Fruits: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes and watermelon
Vegetables: beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes
White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.
Fruits: banana, brown pear, dates and white peaches
Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn
And to keep everything in balance, we can't forget exercising. Especially since National Start! Walking Day arrives on April 1.
Nutrition and exercise -- two words that shouldn't just be part of our vocabulary, but lifestyle too.