People who eat more amounts of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure, according to Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist at North Dakota State University. Making your plate colorful is an easy way to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your nutritional buck.
Benefits Per Color
Red fruits and vegetables may help reduce risk of several types of cancer. Tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit are good examples. Strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and other fruits act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Antioxidants are also linked to heart health.
Orange/Yellow fruits and vegetables have Beta-carotene, which have been linked to eye health. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots are good examples. Scientists have also reported that these foods can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and can improve immune system function. Vitamin C is also found in these foods and helps the immune system.
Green fruits and vegetables include spinach, green peppers, peas, cucumber, celery and other dark leafy vegetables. All help to lowering cholesterol, fight against cancer and help reduce the incidence of many chronic diseases.
Blue/Purple fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, grapes and raisins, act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. They may help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Other studies have shown that eating more blueberries is linked with improved memory function and healthy aging.
White/Tan fruits and vegetables, including bananas and potatoes, may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease.