Eat These Veggies for Optimal Health

Veggies each have their own array of vitamins and minerals... eat up!

Veggies each have their own array of vitamins and minerals… eat up!

The colors of certain fruits and vegetables can tell you a lot about the types of vitamins and nutrients they contain. Here’s a guide that covers the fruit-and-veggie spectrum:

Purple/Blue: Containing high levels of phytochemicals like anthocyanins and phenols, plus antioxidants, blue and purple fruits and vegetables are thought to possess anti-aging benefits. In addition to keeping you looking young, they can help you feel younger by aiding in memory function, reducing the risk of some cancers, and promoting urinary tract health. Blueberries, grapes — two of the Twelve Top Sonoma Power Foods — plums, purple asparagus, eggplant, and purple peppers can all help you get your purple in.

Green: Full of phytochemicals like lutein, green produce has mighty antioxidant power and can help reduce the risk of some cancers, maintain good vision, and reinforce strong bones and teeth. Leafy greens are also rich in folate, a B vitamin that is linked to better memory and hearing and is even protective against several cancers. The strongest members of the green team are the cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy. These vegetables are especially rich in vitamins, minerals, and a huge variety of antioxidant phytonutrients. Go green with spinach, collard and mustard greens, chard, kale, Brussels sprouts, dandelion, kiwi fruit, arugula, artichokes, avocados, snap peas, green peppers, and zucchini.

White: White, tan, and brown produce contains phytochemicals such as allicin, which is associated with a reduced cancer risk, healthy cholesterol levels, and heart health. Get these benefits with turnips, onions, mushrooms, brown pears, white peaches, cauliflower, garlic, onions, jicama, and white corn.

Yellow/Orange: These sunny-colored fruits and veggies contain vitamin C, antioxidants, carotenoids, and biflavonoids. They are thought to help maintain a healthy heart, preserve vision, reduce the risk of some cancers, and promote a healthy immune system. These yellow or orange vegetables are also good examples of veggies that contain antioxidants, which will perform better for you when combined with healthy types of fats. Go orange with grapefruit, mangoes, nectarines, tangerines, lemons, carrots, and butternut squash.

Red: This vibrant color indicates the presence of lycopene and anthocyanins, which help improve memory function, maintain heart and urinary tract health, and lower the risk of some cancers. Get red with watermelon, pink grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, red grapes, apples, cherries, pomegranates, strawberries, tomatoes, and beets.


(Originally posted in The New Sonoma Diet Daily)

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