The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Along with that it is imperative to eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. Every color contains different nutrients. Consuming a variety of colors ensures that you get enough of the different nutrients you need for a healthy lifestyle.
Red and Purple
Red and purple fruits and vegetables usually contain anthocyanins. Red ones usually also contain lycopene. Anthocyanins have antioxidant properties that help limit damage caused to your cells by free radicals and lower your risk of heart diseases, strokes, cancer, macular degeneration, and problems with your memory.
Moreover, reds and purples also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate. Compounds in these fruits and vegetables also help keep your vision and immune system healthy and limit your risk of urinary tract infections.
Scientists have proven that darker foods contain more antioxidants which helps them protect and heal our bodies. Purple foods can prevent ulcers, kill cancer cells, and decrease liver damage caused by alcohol. Some examples of such foods are purple onions, eggplants and grapes.
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Orange and Yellow
Some fruits and vegetables have pigments called carotenoids which makes them orange and yellow. They contain beta-carotene which is a carotenoid that your body uses to generate vitamin A. Folate, potassium, Bromium, and vitamin C. Carotenoids help improve your immune function and lower your risk for heart diseases, vision problems, and cancer.
A study published in the April 2017 issue of “World Journal of Gastroenterology” found that consuming more white fruits and vegetables may help protect against colorectal cancer. White vegetables and fruits get their color from antioxidant properties called anthoxanthins, which can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Some white foods, like garlic, contain allicin, help with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These foods are also sources of potassium, vitamin C, folate, niacin, and riboflavin.
Leafy greens are rich in minerals, nutrients, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Chlorophyll gives green fruits and vegetables their color. Some of these fruits and vegetables also contain indoles, which can lower your risk of cancer, and lutein, which helps prevent problems with your vision. Other common nutrients in many of these fruits and vegetables include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.
With winter right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to try colorful fruits and veggies that are in season.