June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month so let’s celebrate Mother Nature’s rainbow colored abundance!
When it comes to eating fruit and veg, one of the most important things to remember—other than doing your damndest to eat seasonally and, if possible, locally—is to eat a wide variety of colors!
Why is this so important? The difference in color between one fruit and veg to the next is not random. The color of a given fruit and veg gives you a clue to what nutrients the fruit or veg contains.
How does it work? Colorful fruit and veggies contain phytochemicals, which work synergistically to help your body better absorb vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Red fruits and veg: tomato; raspberries; guava, watermelon; red cabbage; cranberries; pomegranate; strawberries; red pears; blood oranges; red cabbages; red potatoes; red onions; rhubarb; red grapefruit; radish; radicchio; kidney beans; cherries; strawberries and beets boosts your body with vitamin C and folate. Red means rich in antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanins.
Orange and yellow fruits and veg: carrots; pumpkin; kabocha squash, yellow pepper; apricots and butternut squash are loaded with beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A, which we all know is great for your eyes as well as your skin, teeth and bone health.
Green fruits and veg: spinach; kale; avocado; green apples; green grapes; kiwi; broccoli; celery; limes; artichoke; cucumber; peas; string beans; Swiss chard; dandelion; lettuce; Bok Choy and Brussels Sprouts are packed with vitamins K, C, E and are rich in antioxidants as well as the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthi.
Purple and blue veg: eggplant; blueberries; blackberries; purple cabbage; purple carrots; purple peppers; purple potatoes; plums; purple grapes and purple asparagus have heart-healthy antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are natural plant pigments with powerful antioxidant properties. They also contain flavonoids and ellagic acid, which help prevent cancer.
And don’t forget that white is also a color. White veggies: fennel; cauliflower; garlic; jicama; daikon radish; white potato; white peaches; white onion; parsnips and white nectarines are packed with dietary fiber and and antioxidant-rich flavonoids, such as quercetin.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating at least five to nine servings per day of fruits and vegetables. It’s a simple equation. The more fruit and veg you eat (especially seasonal and locally produced) and the wider range of colors you eat, the more nutrients you will be getting.
Here’s a list of all the great, colorful fruit and veggies that are in season in June courtesy of BetterRecipes.com!
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And don’t forget to leave a comment below and let us know which is your fave fruit or veg color!