I recently read an article from Health magazine by Melissa Roberts on ways to enhance and improve your diet. Her suggestion? To go for color! “Fruits and veggies of all shades contain phytonutrients—plant compounds that work together to protect your health.” Phytonutrients are what give produce its vibrate color and are full of antioxidants such as carotenoids and anthocyanins which studies have shown to be a huge help in fighting off age-related diseases that includes cancer and heart disease. The associate professor at Tufts University explains in the article why eating more color such as, green, orange, and red can be extremely beneficial for your health.
In winter it is important to keep your immune system strong, especially if you are college student running around and being in constant contact with others. One way to power up and boost your immune system is with vitamin A, commonly found in orange and yellow foods. Lucky for us most orange and yellow foods are seasonally winter vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Starting with green the article points out that almost all green fruits and vegetables are filled with lutein and zeaxanthin, classified as, “carotenoids that protect against eye diseases and may lower your risk of heart disease and skin cancer.” My favorites are the leafy greens such as kale, spinach, chard, arugula and so on. They are an excellent source of folic acid and foliate which are considered to be natural energy boosters. They are also inexpensive and have unlimited recipe possibilities.
Lastly the article suggests turning to red for long-term strength. Red vegetables and fruits are rich in cancer-fighting lycopene and anthocyanins, which studies have found may be linked to helping lower the risk of heart disease and strokes, says Roberts . My nominee for a red veggie goes to beets. Beets are not only in season, cancer-fighting but they also help detoxify the liver. Canned beets are very inexpensive and so are fresh beets. They are also super easy to make. I boil mine and let them cool. Sometimes I eat them by themselves, and other times I make a beet salad.
Overall just remember, go for color, live strong and be healthy.