Color Your Plate with a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables
There are so many things I love about fall: chilly mornings, pumpkin lattes and fresh apple cider. But absolutely nothing can compare to the breathtaking colors of autumn leaves. Rich, vibrant shades of burgundy, orange and gold sweep across the trees and paint an explosion of color. And it’s not just the trees that get more colorful in fall; the produce does too! Squash, pears, grapes, gooseberries, mushrooms and turnips are just part of the colorful array of fruits and vegetables that thrive during the months of September, October and November.
Filling your diet with a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables is an easy way to build a diet that is rich in fiber, nutrients and antioxidants. And of course, it’s a great way to fight colon cancer too! All fruits and vegetables are good for you, but some definitely stand out among the rest. Here are the most outstanding foods in each color category to help you build a colorful diet that will keep you healthy and strong.
- Strawberries may be small and sweet, but they are a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. They contain disease-fighting anthocyanins and polyphenols, cell-regenerating folic acid, and they are a great source of potassium and fiber. Strawberries have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer, stroke and heart attack. They have also been found to alleviate high blood pressure, allergies and asthma.
- Watermelon is packed with nutrients, despite its high water content. It contains the amino acids L-citrulline and L-arginine, which has been shown to improve blood pressure in obese men and women. L-citrulline can also aid in post-workout recovery.
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of calcium, potassium, copper, niacin, vitamin A and vitamin C. They are also extremely versatile and a staple of many fall recipes!
- Pumpkin is rich in fiber and vitamin A. Studies have also shown that pumpkin may help to repair damaged pancreatic cells, which could lead to a potential aid in treating diabetes.
- Popcorn is more than just a snack to munch on during the movies; it’s a whole grain that’s low in calories. Even better, it contains more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables!
- Bananas are rich in nutrients, especially potassium, which helps your body break down carbohydrates and build muscle. And their convenient peel makes them the perfect snack to take just about anywhere.
- Watercress topped out with the highest nutrient density values out of all other foods in a 2014 study. Among its lengthy list of nutrients: protein, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, C and E.
- Spinach is rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamin K and folate. It also contains an amino acid called tyrosine that can improve reflexes.
- Blueberries pack a powerful punch in the antioxidant department, and they have been shown to aid in the prevention of several diseases, including diabetes, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease. These colorful berries can also boost your immunity!
- Blackberries are just as good to your brain as they are to your taste buds. A 2012 study found that blackberries delayed cognitive decline by two and a half years.
- Plums and prunes are rich in disease-fighting anthocyanins. They have also been shown to improve bone density in postmenopausal women and aid in weight loss in both men and women.
- Concord grapes may improve neurocognitive functioning in older adults, according to some research. They also contain phytonutrients, which can increase longevity (Source: U.S. News).
Adding some color to your plate is a delicious way to nourish your body and strengthen your defense against colon cancer. Fill your diet with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, and enjoy a rainbow of foods that will preserve your health for years to come.