Our bodies are continuously running machines. In order to keep the body functioning to the best of its ability, it needs the right type and adequate amount of fuel. This works the same way in the car that you drive. Without fuel, our bodies drag throughout the day and continuously feel like shutting down. Likewise, you can’t just fill your gas tank with water and expect it to run well either. This brings me to my point: the fuel that we choose to put into the machine that we live in, along with the fuel that we put in our gas tanks, determine each machine’s ability to function. Which fuel keeps our bodies running the best, you may ask? I have your answers!
The Skittles commercial, although marketing for a type of candy, has a catchy, yet appropriate slogan. “Taste the rainbow,” to a Nutrition major, means focusing on filling the diet with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. The many bright colors contained in fruits and vegetables usually mean that they supply a broad range of vitamins and minerals that a person needs to promote health.
When “taste the rainbow” gets hit with health, this is what you get. Red, orange and pink/purple fruits and vegetables, such as red and orange bell peppers, strawberries and oranges, contain vitamin C, which aid our bodies’ immune system to prevent sickness, and beta-carotene, which is needed to make Vitamin A. The yellow color of squash, bananas and pineapple contain several essential vitamins that contribute to healthy skin. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale contain large amounts of vitamin K, which is used as a blood clotting factor in our bodies. Blue fruits, such as blueberries, have high antioxidant capacities, which means they protect our bodies from cellular damage and the aging process.
As college students, our daily recommended intake of fruits is 2 cups per day and vegetables is 2-3 cups a day. Try incorporating a fruit and/or vegetables at each meal. This trick will make it more manageable to get as many servings into your diet as possible without feeling like you have to eat an entire head of broccoli in one sitting to meet your goal.
The machine that is your body will be able to run better, longer and smoother when you fill it with the many vitamins and nutrients stored inside the colorful rainbow of fruits and vegetables available to you.