Following a nutritionally balanced diet doesn’t have to be bland. In fact, thanks to fresh vegetables and fruits, it can be a colorful experience. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains, eating a wide variety of colors can benefit your body in many different ways. If you’re looking to eat more of the rainbow, here are just a few ways colorful farm-fresh produce can support your health.
What Do Colorful Foods Have to Offer?
Red & Orange
Many red and orange foods—such as carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes—gain their color from carotenoids, a class of pigments known for their nutritional benefits. Examples of carotenoids include lycopene and beta-carotene—nutrients that can help support healthy vision among other things, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation.
Strawberries, on the other hand, do not contain carotenoids. Instead, they develop their hue due to anthocyanin—a flavonoid that is known to act as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help reduce free radicals—molecules that may increase cancer risk.
If you’re trying to lose weight in a healthy fashion, focus on dark-green veggies. As the USDA explains, fresh vegetables with a dark-green color—such as spinach, collard greens, and kale—tend to be low in carbohydrates. They are packed full of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E, and K. Dark leafy greens are also rich in folate—a nutrient that helps prevent birth defects.
Blue & Purple
Like strawberries, blue and purple produce—including eggplants, blueberries, and purple carrots—get their color from anthocyanins. As such, these items can provide cancer-fighting benefits, according to the NIH. Blueberries, in particular, are extremely beneficial for health as the USDA states these superfruits contain nutrients that can help improve digestion, cognitive function, and inflammation.
White foods that are processed—such as bread, pasta, and sugar—aren’t necessarily known for their health benefits. However, fresh vegetables that are white in color offer a much better nutritional profile. Garlic, for example, is shown to support heart health, minimize cancer risk, and eliminate bad bacteria. If you’re searching for a crunchy snack, cauliflower is recognized for being low in calories and cholesterol-free.
Thanks to Muzzarelli Farms, filling your plate with color has never been easier. Serving the Vineland, NJ, area for decades, our family-owned farm has delivered nutrition and flavor through our wide selection of fresh vegetables and fruits—including tomatoes, blueberries, and corn. For questions, call (856) 691-2497.