The colors of your favorite veggie don’t just make them visually appealing. Their hue is a clue to their vitamins and nutritional value!
The more vibrant the pigment, the more packed with health-promoting antioxidants. Here are some of the basics:
– Dark, leafy greens (spinach and kale): These calcium-rich greens are also a good source of folic acid which can prevent birth defects, and lutein which aids and protects vision. They are also a rich source of potassium!
– Yellow-green (peas and corn): These little nibbles also contain lutein, as well as zeaxanthin which is another plant-based antioxidant which helps to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration (the most common cause of blindness in the elderly).
– Yellow-orange (acorn squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots): Orange veggies are bursting with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is a powerful ally with anti-aging, healthy skin, good vision and strong immune system.
– Red (tomatoes): Raw, cooked, or in a tomato sauce are all tasty sources of lycopene. This red compound is a powerful aid in supporting prostate and breast health.
– White-green (onions, garlic, mushrooms, endive, celery): These are ideal sources of allicin and flavonoids which are cell protectors and immunity strengtheners.
Quick tip: The best way to store your veggies is loose or in a perforated plastic bag (so they can breathe). It’s also best to store them in a separate bin from fresh fruits. Many fruits like pears and apples, for instance, produce a ripening gas called ethylene which can alter the taste of vegetables!