Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’
I thought these were creative and festive ways to enjoy vegetables and fruit for Thanksgiving!
Turkey Veggie Platter:
Image Credits: Bayonne Farmers Market
When I was growing up, I remember my Mom teaching me that it was important to “eat the rainbow”. At the time, I thought it had more to do with the presentation of a meal, but as I have studied more about nutrition, I realize that “eating the rainbow” had more to do with eating a variety of nutrients that have a powerful impact on our overall health, and less to do with Skittles® candies.
How To Eat The Rainbow
“Eating the Rainbow” refers to the practice of eating fruits and vegetables of all the different colors to provide your body with a variety of nutrients. Produce with similar colors tend to have many of the same nutrients and health benefits, which makes it important to eat from all of the different colors of “the rainbow”!
I have listed the health benefits commonly associated with each of the colors and have provided some examples of produce within that color group.
Fruits and Vegetables that are red will contain either lycopene, which fights against cancer or it will contain anthocyanins, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damaging and has been shown to have amazing benefits for the heart.
Examples: Beets, Watermelon, Red Peppers, Strawberries, Red cabbage, Tomatoes, Red Apples, Radishes, Red Grapes, Red Potatoes, Pomegranates, Raspberries, Cranberries, Pink Grapefruit, and Cherries.
Fruits and Vegetables that are orange contain carotenoids, which has been reported to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and can even help improve immune system function. Orange citrus fruits, like oranges, may not have significant amounts of carotenoids, but they have high amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C, and folate – which has been shown to help reduce the risk of birth defects.
Examples: Pumpkin, Apricots, Carrots, Oranges, Sweet Potatoes, Peaches, Mangoes, Butternut Squash, Papayas, Cantaloupe, and Nectarines.
Fruits and Vegetables that are yellow contain zeaxanthin, which is a bioflavonoid that provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to prevent free radical damage to the eye (specifically the retina and the lens of the eyes) and works with lutein for healthy eye development.
Examples: Sweet Corn, Yellow Peppers, Pears, Yellow Tomatoes, Pineapple, Yellow Apples, Lemons, and Yellow Squash.
Fruits and Vegetables that are green may contain chlorophyll, which may help prevent cancer, and lutein, which helps with eye health and development. Many green produce is also high in folate and other essential nutrients.
Examples: Spinach, Honeydew Melon, Green pepper, Limes, Green apples, Cucumbers, Green Onions, Green Grapes, Asparagus, Green Cabbage, Avocados, Brussels Sprouts, Lettuce, Peas, Broccoli, and Green Beans.
Fruits and Vegetables that are blue or purple contain anthocyanins, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage, may reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Blueberries, for example, are linked to healthy aging and improved memory function.
Examples: Blueberries, Plums/Prunes, Blackberries, Egg Plant, Purple Grapes/Raisins, Juneberries, and Figs.
Fruits and Vegetables that are white contain anthoxanthins, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Examples: Cauliflower, Bananas, Onions, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Garlic, Turnips, Ginger, and Jicama.
We all know that we should have Vitamin C to stay healthy, but do you know exactly what that means? I’ll give you a quick glimpse of why Vitamin C is important for your health, and how you can obtain it naturally through the foods you eat.
“The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer.” - Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
• Vitamin C is well known for it’s ability to strengthen the body’s immune system and help heal all of the cells in your body.
• Feeling stressed? Vitamin C helps the body to naturally deal with stress.
• Vitamin C can help detoxify the body, including protecting the body from pollution, neutralizes harmful free radicals, and removes heavy metals.
• Cardiovascular disease can be protected against with Vitamin C.
• Vitamin C kills the harmful bacteria and viruses in the body, yet it’s able to support the good bacteria in the gut.
Top Sources of Vitamin C
Eating more raw fruits and vegetables should be able to help provide the needed amount of Vitamin C to enjoy the associated health benefits.
I have listed common fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C, and all of them are less than 130 calories per serving. Sounds like a win-win to me!
• Guava – 381% DV
• Papaya - 313% DV
• Bell Peppers – 195% DV
• Strawberries – 141% DV
• Broccoli – 135% DV
• Pineapple – 131% DV
• Brussels Sprouts – 124% DV
• Kiwifruit – 120% DV
• Oranges – 116% DV
• Cantaloupe – 97% DV
• Kale – 88% DV
• Cauliflower – 86% DV
When I think of Summer barbecues, one of the first fruits I think of is a refreshing Watermelon slice! To celebrate Summer, I have listed some amazing health benefits that Watermelons come with, something we can all enjoy!
Watermelon Health Benefits
1) Watermelon is rich in a carotenoid antioxidant in it called lycopene, which is something tomatoes are famous for. Something you may not know, watermelon has more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable -including tomatoes -which are known to help reduce the risk of several types of cancers.
2) Watermelons are very low in calories, about 46 calories per cup. This is one of the many reasons that makes watermelon a great snack to have throughout the day, especially if you have a weight loss goal.
3) Watermelon contains arginine which is an amino acids that can help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall cardiovascular function.
4) When you eat watermelon, you consume zero grams of fat and cholesterol.
5) Watermelons are high in vitamin A which is an antioxidant and promotes eye health (just like carrots!)
6) Watermelons are rich in potassium, which may help control blood pressure and possibly prevent strokes.
7) Watermelon is fairly high in vitamin C, which is a great way to build up your immune system, prevent cellular damage, heal wounds, and even promotes healthy teeth and gums.
8) Watermelon is one of nature’s natural sources of some important electrolytes – sodium and potassium- which we lose when we sweat. This concept alone reminds me why watermelon is a great fruit to snack on during the hot Summer months.
9) I thought this was an obvious thing, but it’s important to realize that we can get water intake from the foods we eat. Some foods contain more water than others, and you guessed it – watermelon is full of water! With it’s high water concentration, eating watermelons is a great way to prevent dehydration.
10) If you want to avoid Genetically Modified (GM) foods, stay away from seedless watermelons. A side-effect of GM seedless watermelons is that there is a much higher sugar content in them, which isn’t always a good thing.
It’s time you start benefiting from fresh fruits and vegetables that are in Season! Not only will you enjoy a more delicious and fresh flavor from your produce, but you will also be able to save money when you buy fruits and vegetables that are in Season.
This list I have provided shows which fruits and vegetables are in Season throughout the year. It will depend upon where you live, but this list is general enough to give you an idea of when produce is typically available.
Spring (March – May)
Summer (June – August)
- Green Beans
- Summer Squash
Fall (September – November)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes
- Winter Squash
Winter (December – February)
- Sweet Potatoes
In Season All Year
Feel free to use this list as a reference guide throughout the year to help you buy fruits and vegetables in Season.