Taste the rainbow

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2014

From U.S. News and World Report come these tips on the best food in each color group.

Red — Strawberries, bursting with antioxidants, vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, potassium and more. Health benefits include decreased risk of stroke, cancer and heart attacks.

Orange — Sweet potatoes, for their “sky-high nutrient content” including calcium, potassium, copper, niacine, vitamin A and C.

Yellow/White — Popcorn, whole grain, low calorie, and antioxidants.

Blue — Blueberries, of course. May help with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s. The also boost immune function.

Purple — A tie between plums and prunes. Great on antioxidants, plus prunes may help improve bone mineral density.

Green — Watercress, with outrageous nutrient density.

It all makes a very pretty plate.

To protect you and your family from food poisoning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service offers the following advice:

• If your lunch includes perishable items such as luncheon meats, eggs and yogurt, use at least two freezer packs to keep these foods at cool temperatures where harmful bacteria can’t multiply rapidly.

• Frozen juice boxes can be used as freezer packs. Freeze a juice box overnight and use it with at least one freezer pack. By lunchtime, the juice should be thawed and ready to drink.

• Pack perishable lunch items and freezer packs in an insulated, soft-sided lunch bag. If you use a paper bag, perishable foods may be unsafe to eat by lunchtime, according to the food inspection service.

• After lunch, throw away all leftover food, used food packaging and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause illness, the safety experts said.