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Fresh Recipes: Cooking With The Seasons Blog

Today’s Tip: The Color of Health

Beta carotene gives carrots their deep shade of orange.

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Finding the most nutritious produce is easy because it comes conveniently color-coded. As a rule, fruits and vegetables with the richest, most vibrant hues of red, orange, yellow and green have the most vitamins and minerals. In fact, antioxidants themselves impart color to food.
The vibrant orange in carrots, mangos and winter squash are courtesy of the powerful antioxidant beta carotene, for example. The red in tomatoes comes from lycopene and the red in berries and cherries is thanks to an antioxidant called anthocyanin.
Green is another color to look out for. For the most part, the deeper the green of the vegetable, the more packed it is with nutrients. Dark greens like spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are loaded with vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, fiber iron and calcium. Iceberg lettuce pales nutritionally to greener lettuces like romaine, arugula or Bibb.
So fill your plate with plenty of yellow, red, orange, and green. They are the colors of health.


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