Vegetable Colors Decoded

Eat Your Vegetables Day, celebrated every June 17, was created to promote a more healthy diet. Everyone know that fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that are essential to one’s health. But did you know that the color of plant-based food provides a clue as to what vitamins and nutrients they contain?

Red

red-bell-pepper

Red vegetables such as beets, radishes, red pepper and rhubarb get their color from anthocyanins and lycopene. These phytonutrients are known to help boost memory, lower the risk of cancer, keep the urinary tract healthy and lower the risk of cancer.

Orange & Yellow

orange-butternut-squash

Orange and yellow vegetables get their color from natural pigments called carotenoids, which studies show supports eye function and health, helps reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and boosts immunity. So, load up on butternut squash, carrots, pumpkins, sweet corn, sweet potatoes and rutabagas this summer.

Green

green-salad

Green-colored vegetables get their color from chlorophyll and are usually rich in calcium, indoles, iron, lutein and magnesium, which all help support eye function and health, lowers the risk of cancer and helps maintain strong bones and teeth. Chow down on green veggies like artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, celery, green cabbage, leafy greens, peas, spinach, watercress and zucchini.

Purple

purple-eggplant

Eggplants and other purple plant foods like purple cabbage, purple peppers and purple potatoes get their color from a natural plant pigment called anthocyanins which acts as a powerful antioxidant to protect cells from damage and helps fight the effects of aging. These natural chemicals may also help reduce risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.

White

scallion

Light colored (including white, tan and brown-colored) vegetables are colored by pigments called anthoxanthins that may contain health-promoting chemicals such as allicin. These chemicals may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Light colored vegetables include cauliflower, jicama, onions, garlic, parsnips, shallots, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn.

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