The summer harvest brings to us fruits and vegetables of every color, each of which has it's own unique health advantages. Head to your market and load up, as now is a great time to reap the benefits!
Paint your Plate Read on to discover the benefits of each color...
Red Fruits and Vegetables Red fruits and veggies contain lycopene, beta carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body), vitamin C, and quercetin. These nutrients are said to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In some studies, these nutrients have been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and are said to have anti-cancer benefits. The good stuff: Strawberries, cherries, raspberries, pomegranate, beets, radishes, tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers, kidney beans, pinto beans
Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables Orange and yellow fruits and veggies contain lycopene, beta carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body), and vitamin C. Orange and yellow foods are said to be beneficial to eyes, skin (think glowing skin!), heart health, and bones, and have also been linked to anti-cancer benefits. The good stuff: Cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, sweet potato, yellow and orange peppers, yellow and orange tomatoes, yellow squash, carrots
Green Fruits and Vegetables Mom always said to eat your dark leafy, greens. Mom is right about that! Green fruits and veggies contain vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, lutien, calcium, iron, and chlorophyll, just to name a few nutrients. These are said to promote overall bone health, blood health, and eye health, help fight free radicals, improve circulation, and help normalize blood pressure and cholesterol. The good stuff: Kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuces, green herbs, swiss chard, mustard and collard greens, green peppers, cucmbers, honeydew melon, peas, kiwi
Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables There's a lot of news about blue and purple foods these days, particularly blueberries and grapes. For good reason, too. These foods contain manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, and loads of antioxidants. Blue and purple foods are said to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits, support the immune system, mitigate memory loss, and improve blood health. The good stuff: Blueberries, purple grapes, eggplant, plums, prunes, purple beans, purple cabbage, figs, purple peppers
White Fruits and Vegetables Yes, white is a color. And white fruits and veggies are also very good for you! These contain quercetin, anthoxanthins, and antioxidants. White foods are said to have anti-inflammatory properties, and support cardiovascular health. The good stuff: Garlic, onions, turnip, horseradish, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, white beans
Now that you know how powerful these different foods are, try to eat a few colors a day. It's so easy in the summertime, and it adds some fun and festivity to your plate!