Successfully launched by the Produce for Better Health Foundation in 2007, in conjunction with a grant from California, Florida, and Arizona Departments of Food and Agriculture, the 5 A Day (The Color Way) campaign aims to promote healthy eating habits to attain successful weight loss.
The Premise: Deriving your nutrients from a good variety of fruits and vegetables is the most effective way for you to protect your body from all kinds of diseases, while also helping with processes of aging and cell functioning. This unique approach is effective because of its simplicity. The campaign’s slogan “5 A Day” for better health is simple enough to remember. And all you have to remember is to incorporate at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet everyday, which cover the color spectrum for optimal health.
The Diet: There are 5 main colors to eat from and those are:
Picking from any of these groups is ideal when eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You can easily incorporate the 5 servings into your everyday foods with a little creativity. I have found that the best way to remember what a serving consists of is to measure about a fist-sized portion. This would mean 1 medium apple, pear, or banana, a handful of grapes and strawberries, or even about a ½ cup of vegetables like broccoli or carrots. The serving size for juice is about a 4 oz. cup.
It is also best to try and eat the “whole food” version of a fruit of vegetable to get the maximum benefit from it. Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or refined before consumption, or have been processed or refined as little as possible before consumption. The reason for this is because derivatives of a fruit or vegetable might only contain the sweet sugary pulp of a fruit, whereas the nutrients needed will be also be contained in the skin and seeds of a fruit or vegetable.
What to get excited over:
I have found this type of diet is good for those wishing to boost energy levels; it can be felt almost instantaneously at times. I started a on a slower approach by incorporating a breakfast smoothie with at least 3 to 4 different types of fruit for breakfast. I felt quite energized during the rest of the morning. This is one of those diets that can be adapted to suit anyone’s needs, including those who are on a healthy weight management system. As your body fuels up with fruits and vegetables, the body is more readily able to properly digest the vitamins, minerals, and phyto-chemicals present in them, meaning more stable energy reserves without the lows and highs experienced with processed foods.
Things to consider:
This diet is extremely easy to follow because of the wide variety of colors that are available from fruits and vegetables. It only takes a little creativity to mix and match them for the most optimal benefit to your health.
Verdict: When you supplement your regular exercise with good healthy eating habits, such as the 5 a day program, it can significantly lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. It can also boost your immune system, memory functioning, and provide strong bones and teeth. It is a good step to take in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your body and mind will thank you for it!