Scientists are frequently reporting new health benefits associated with consuming fruits and vegetables. Eating more fruits and vegetables is an important goal. Nutrition research shows that colorful vegetables and fruits contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that your body needs to promote health and help you feel great. Accordingly, eating a variety of different colors of fruits and vegetables every day is a great way of meeting this goal. Colors you should be sure to include in your diet daily are:
Blues and purples not only add beautiful shades of tranquility and richness to your plate, they add health enhancing flavonoids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, vitamin C, folic acid, and polyphenols. These nutrients help your body defend against cancer, reduce the risk of age-related memory loss, help control high blood pressure, and reduce the risk of diabetes complications and heart attacks.
Not only do green vegetables look great and taste wonderful, they are also rich in the phytochemicals (like lutein, zeaxanthin, and indoles) and essential vitamins (folate), minerals, and fiber that keep you healthy. These nutrients protect your eyes, and may reduce the risk of cancerous tumors.
White fruits and vegetables vary from sweet to strong. Vegetables from the onion family, which include garlic, chives, scallions, leeks, and any variety of onion contain the phytonutrient allicin. Research is being conducted on allicin to learn how it may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and increase the body’s ability to fight infections and cancer. Indoles, sulfaforaphanes, and phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower may also inhibit cancer growth.
The colors of the blazing sun are a must have in your daily diet. Yellow and orange vegetables and fruits contain beta-carotene (which turns into vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E, folate (a B vitamin), and bioflavonoids. Research shows that these nutrients reduce the risk for cancer and heart attacks, boost immunity, help maintain good vision, and strong bones/teeth/skin.
When you add deep reds or bright pinks to your daily diet, you are also adding powerful antioxidants called lycopene and anthocyanins. Diets rich in these nutrients are being studied for their ability to fight heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as skin, breast and prostate cancers.
How are you doing? Can you think of ways you could add some color to your plate?
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