All of us know it is important to eat your vegetables. Didn’t our mothers always tell us to eat our vegetables! But did you understand that you need a variety of vegetables of several different colors. It is not enough just to sip orange juice every morning or have the same salad for lunch every day. When you eat vegetables of different colors, dark greens like spinach, and orange vegetables like sweet potatoes, you benefit from each food’s unique blend of vitamins and other nutrients. Among those nutrients are phytochemicals like beta carotene and lycopene, which seem to have a protective effect against certain types of cancer and other chronic diseases. The greater the variety of natural colors you consume, the wider the range of protective phytochemicals the body receives.
So if you eat a vegetable salad, make sure to add different colors. Mix orange carrots and purple cabbage with your greens. You may have favorite vegetables but mixing up your food choices and trying vegetables you have not tasted before can add to your color choices for better health.
Source: Iowa Extension Service, Chef Charles newsletter September Edition.