The Health Benefits of a Colorful Diet
Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are healthy for you and a necessary part of your diet. What a lot of people do not realize is that the specific types of benefits you receive when you eat produce have much to do with the color of it.
Fruits and vegetables of this color contain lycopene or anthocyanins. Lycopene may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer along with various others. Anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that help protect cells from damage and protect our hearts as well.
Some of these fruits and vegetables include red apples, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranates, red grapes, cherries, cranberries, watermelon, beets, red peppers, tomatoes, and radishes.
These fruits and vegetables get their natural color from pigments called carotenoids. Beta-carotene has healthy benefits because when digested it is converted to vitamin A. This helps your body maintain healthy mucous membranes and eyes, can improve the function of your immune system, and may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease as well.
Some common fruits and vegetables of this color are yellow apples, peaches, pineapple, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, mangos, apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn.
These fruits and vegetables get their colorful green appearance from a pigment called chlorophyll. Some of this produce also contains lutein, which becomes active when it works with another chemical called zeaxanthin. This is found in various fruits and vegetables including oranges, corn, and egg yolks. When these two chemicals work together, they help keep your eyes in good health and reduce your risk of developing cataracts and other eyes problems. Some greens like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can protect against cancer, not to mention that broccoli, along with spinach, contains folate, which is good for your heart and reduces the risk of birth defects.
Some common green fruits and vegetables you may want to include in your diet are green apples and grapes, green beans, asparagus, cucumbers, broccoli, honeydew melon, lettuce, peas, green pepper, spinach, and zucchini. These are just a few of endless green possibilities!
These fruits and vegetables get their coloration from anthocyanins, which act as powerful antioxidants to protect cells, help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and disease, and improve memory function and healthy aging.
Some delicious blue or purple fruits and vegetables that you can include in your diet are blueberries, purple grapes, plums, blackberries, prunes, raisins, figs, and even eggplant.
Fruits and vegetables of this color have pigments called anthoxanthins, which contain allicin. This is a chemical that can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Some also provide a good source of potassium.
Some of the fruits and vegetables included in this group are bananas, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and cauliflower.
So the next time you are at the grocery store, keep the healthy benefits of various fruits and vegetables in mind and be sure to pick up a beautiful rainbow of colored produce to keep your health as a whole in balance.
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