Eat Bright: Healthy Fruits and Vegetables

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By: , – By Megan Bingham, of Family Circle
6/21/2011 2:00 PM   :  25 comments   :  11,573 Views

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You would be well served to put a vivid palette of luscious reds, brilliant greens and deep purples on your plate. "Colorful fruits and vegetables don't just make your meal look more appealing," says Karen Ansel, a registered dietician in Syosset, New York, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). "You get a better mix of nutrients by eating produce in a variety of shades." That's thanks to the unique combination of vitamins, antioxidants and natural chemicals behind the bright hues. Research shows these compounds ward off disease, slow the aging process and boost overall health.
 
Red
Cherries: A small handful (either dried or fresh) eaten one hour before bed can help raise melatonin levels, sending you off to dreamland faster.
Red Bell Peppers: Ring in better vision with this bell-shaped veggie. It's filled with lutein, a com-pound that can reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Tomatoes: Lycopene gives them their scarlet shade and guards against cancer. It's best absorbed when tomatoes are cooked and served with a little fat.


Yellow

Corn: Here's a kernel of truth: People who regularly eat corn and other foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by 27%.
Pineapple: One cup of this tropical wonder provides 128% of the recommended daily amount of manganese, an essential nutrient that sweeps cancer-causing free radicals out of cells.
Bananas: An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but potassium-rich bananas stave off cardiovascular disease and regulate blood pressure.


Orange

Carrots: This veggie is one of the best of the bunch when it comes to heart health. Scientists found that people who eat at least one serving a day are 60% less likely to have a heart attack.
Cantaloupe: Give your immune system a boost: One cup of the orange fruit has 113% of the daily value of vitamin C, which fuels infection-attacking white blood cells.
Sweet Potatoes: Here's a veggie to root for. One baked tuber provides 262% of your daily value of vitamin A, which keeps skin looking young by forming new cells.
 
Find out what the rest of the rainbow will do for your health!
 
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How many "colors" have you eaten today? Which ones?
 
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Comments

  • 25
    Love everything listed here!!! And we do eat a great variety of all these foods. - 7/18/2011   9:55:25 PM
  • 24
    good stuff - 7/3/2011   6:51:48 AM
  • 23
    love it - 6/27/2011   1:34:11 PM
  • 22
    Hm, today I had cantaloupe, pineapple, and honeydew at breakfast. Tomatoes, red, yellow, and orange peppers, carrots and celery and a peach at lunch. Zucchini, broccoli, onion, more tomatoes and peppers at dinnertime. We eat a lot of veggies around here! - 6/23/2011   12:41:09 AM
  • 21
    love this article! - 6/22/2011   6:17:02 PM
  • 20
    I love all the pictures! - 6/22/2011   5:30:37 PM
  • 19
    I eat red, orange and green veggies and fruit. Now blackberries , blueberries ,raspberries are in season I eat them too. Yummy! - 6/22/2011   5:13:23 PM
  • 18
    I love most of these fruits and veggies, but can't eat most of them any more because of my gastroparesis, and no raw veggies at all. The only raw fruit I can eat are bananas. - 6/22/2011   3:28:23 PM
  • 17
    Haven't eaten anything yet today, but I've noticed that I'm much better about getting my greens in than some of the other colors like blues. - 6/22/2011   11:40:21 AM
  • 16
    I eat red, yellow, and green bell peppers and carrots in my salad for lunch every day. I also ate a combination of mashed white potato and sweet potato with my fish and yellow corn for dinner. Yum! - 6/22/2011   8:39:39 AM
  • 15
    Glad to see corn being put out in a positive light. I constantly hear people talk about how bad corn is for you - I know it's a starch, but I figured if it's also a veggie, it must have some nutritional value! - 6/22/2011   7:59:34 AM
  • 14
    I get lots of color into my day, every day. Purple smoothies made with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and 1/2 a banana; baby carrots, avocado, tomatoes and cucumbers at lunch; white and green coleslaw with a lime vinaigrette at dinner; mango and watermelon for dessert! I get about 7 servings of fruits and veggies daily, so you can imagine my life is full of color :) - 6/22/2011   6:20:55 AM
  • 13
    Not only are these fruits and vegetables good for you. They provide a vibrant pallete and are inviting to sight and taste. YUM - 6/22/2011   2:07:53 AM
  • 12
    I had some cucumbers and squash from a friend's garden. - 6/22/2011   2:02:26 AM
  • DROPLET
    11
    Love it! Look at those great pictures full of color! - 6/22/2011   1:57:37 AM
  • ALLIB22
    10
    I love eating colorful fruits and veggies and all the health benefits! - 6/22/2011   1:01:45 AM
  • KGARBACK
    9
    Just had a banana, blueberry, cantelope, and dark cherry fruit salad. Yum yum, delicious. - 6/21/2011   11:55:19 PM
  • 8
    I love all of them!!
    - 6/21/2011   8:20:17 PM
  • 7
    Orange (mandarin oranges, carrots); Green (spinach leaves); purple (cabbage); blue (blue berries)....still looking for my red and yellow I guess :) - 6/21/2011   5:35:43 PM
  • 6
    I loved this post! I try and eat from all the colors of the rainbow daily. Today, I've had banana (yellow), carrots (orange), blueberries (blue), strawberries (red), and a salad that had lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumber, green onion, and cauliflower. - 6/21/2011   4:16:49 PM
  • 5
    Banana, green grapes, blueberries, strawberries and a nectarine would be kind of orange =) - 6/21/2011   4:03:10 PM
  • 4
    I've had red strawberries, a yellow banana and reddish/purple grapes so far today. - 6/21/2011   3:32:15 PM
  • 3
    Green -- spinach, kale, romaine, and broccoli. Red -- tomatoes. Yellow -- banana. Orange -- carrots and mango (do mangoes count as orange?) Purple -- cabbage. Also had an apple, not sure what color that counts towards? - 6/21/2011   3:22:33 PM
  • LARIESHA
    2
    For snack I had a peach and a white nectarine from the local farmer's market. - 6/21/2011   3:03:34 PM
  • 1
    In my breakfast smoothie I had spinach and banana, and at lunch I had lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots, and blueberries - so green, yellow, red, orange, and blue! - 6/21/2011   2:56:06 PM

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