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Color Me Healthy

Ah, Fall is here! When I think about the Fall Season, I think about the amazingly brilliant colors that stretch across the sky and paint the sides of the roads. I visualize God dipping His wide paint brush in all the colors of the rainbow, and painting with one stroke.

Fall fruits and vegetable bear an array of beautiful colors that are appealing to the eye, and better still, nurishing to the body. Each color has a nutritional benefit. Here are reasons to color your plate wth many fruits and vegetables

Color Me Healthy!

Nutrients found in the different colors of fruits and vegetables play a role in supporting overall health as well as preventing diseases. Look at the following information from researchers and th­­­­­eir findings regarding colors of fruits and vegetables and disease prevention.

Red: Red fruits and vegetables have one of the highest contents of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important in the health of collagen tissue as well as the vascular system (veins and arteries). Eating cranberries help with the prevention of urinary tract infections.

Researchers Bobek, and Kasimsetty have independently discovered the importance of beets in the prevention of colon cancer (Bobek), and pomegranate juice in the prevention of prostate cancer (Kasmimetty). Both beets and cranberries are great fall vegetables, and pomegranate juice is available year round.

Orange: Orange fruit and vegetables are found to have an important naturally occurring pigment called carotenoids. Carotenoids are responsible for the orange, yellow and red colors of many plants. You may be failure with two of the carotenoids: beta-carotene, and lycopene. Carotenoids supply Vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed to support growth and development, the immune system and vision. Orange vegetables can be beneficial to the renal system (kidneys), digestion, and stomach cancer. Pumpkins and carrots are full of beta-carotene. A great tip is to cook pumpkin and carrots in oil, as oil greatly increases the biovaiability (our body’s ability to use the nutrients), according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Yellow: Also found in a spice called turmeric has found to be beneficial for liver health. Mixed as a paste in oils or in milk, turmeric has been shown to benefit the skin.

Green: Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens and lima beans are a good source of iron. Greens also contain folic acid. Greens can also reduce homocysteine, and improve heart health.

Blue: Blue berries and blue potatoes contain an important pigment called anthocyanins, which is a flavonoid compound that is responsible for their rich blue color. Charles

Brown, a research geneticist found that anthhocyanins can also reduce inflammation is diseases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Anthocyannins also have antiviral and antimicrobial benefits and may protect against cancer and heart disease. My family and I really enjoy “blue potatoes.” They are not easy to find, but check out Whole Foods or Good Earth in Broad Ripple. The Blue potatoes have a unique taste. I just slice and slightly braise them in coconut oil and a little salt-free seasoning, YUM!

Purple: Egg plants are beautiful, but their color is not the only thing that is appealing. Egg plants contain a very important antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid may help in depression and severe mental illnesses according to a study by Bouayed.

So load your plate with these important fruits and vegetables this fall season. Remember, try to get organic fruit and vegetables as much as possible. The next time you are in the office, pick up a list of the “Dirty Dozen.” and “Clean Fifteen.” To take with you the next time you shop.

Just another way to Armor You for Good Health!

Alta Skelton, NP.

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