Follow the rainbow to a healthy lifestyle! That's right, 'coloring' your diet can not only give your body a wide variety of nutrients to help it run and feel better, but will also load your system with vitamins to help prevent many of the top killers in America. Check out the color spectrum of healthy fruits and vegetables:
Red fruits and vegetables are colored by Lycopene and Anthocyanins - natural plant pigments Lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit, for example, may help reduce risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer.
RED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
• Red apples • Beets • Red cabbage • Cherries • Cranberries • Pink grapefruit • Red grapes
• Red peppers • Pomegranates • Red potatoes • Radishes • Raspberries • Rhubarb • Strawberries • Tomatoes • Watermelon
Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are typically colored by natural plant pigments called Carotenoids. The Beta-carotene in vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots is changed into vitamin A in the body which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Carotenoid-rich foods can also help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve
immune system function.
ORANGE/YELLOW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:
• Yellow apples • Apricots • Butternut squash • Cantaloupe • Carrots • Grapefruit • Lemons • Mangoes • Nectarines • Oranges • Papayas • Peaches • Pears • Yellow peppers • Persimmons • Pineapple • Pumpkin • Rutabagas • Yellow summer or winter squash • Sweet corn • Sweet potatoes • Tangerines • Yellow tomatoes • Yellow watermelon
Green fruits and vegetables get their color through a natural plant pigment called “chlorophyll.” The dark green leafy vegetables contain Lutein which works with another chemical, zeaxanthin, found in corn, red peppers, oranges, grapes and egg yolks to help keep eyes healthy. Together, these chemicals help to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which, if untreated, can lead to blindness.
GREEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
• Green apples • Artichokes • Asparagus • Avocados
• Green beans • Broccoli • Brussels sprouts • Green cabbage • Cucumbers • Green grapes
• Honeydew melon • Kiwi • Lettuce • Limes
• Green onions • Peas • Green pepper • Spinach
Blue/purple fruits and vegetables get their color from natural plant pigments called “anthocyanins.” Anthocyanins in blueberries, grapes and raisins are powerful antioxidants that protect our body's cells from damage. They also help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Other studies have shown that eating more blueberries is linked with improved memory function and healthy aging.
BLUE AND PURPLE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
• Blackberries • Blueberries • Eggplant • Figs
• Juneberries • Plums • Prunes
• Purple grapes • Raisins
In general, red and orange vegetables tend to be higher in Vitamic C and the bright colored berries are loaded with antioxidants. Green veggies, for the most part, are high in all vitamins.
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