By:
31-05-2015

The Health Benefits Of Coloured Vegetables

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Children are often told to eat their greens, but it’s just as important to eat red, orange, yellow, purple and white vegetables. Health experts say they can protect us from certain types of cancers, heart disease, arthritis, cataracts, make us look better – even help us live longer. Put these six colours on your plate every day to keep you fit and healthy:

RELISH RED

The phytochcehmicals that give vegetables their amazing colours act as antioxidants to keep us fit and healthy for longer. They help rid the body of harmful free radicals that can damage our cells. Red foods contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, especially prostate cancer, also lung disease. The antioxidants are also thought to keep your heart healthy by preventing blood clots, as well as reducing skin damage from the sun. Nutrients in red vegetables are high in vitamin C, which helps encourage cellular renewal.

The benefits if vitamin C is often weakened when food is heated, but not in the case of tomatoes. Lycopene is absorbed more easily when tomatoes are cooked, so tomato sauces can have greater health benefits than raw tomatoes.

Red vegetables include:

Tomatoes - Beetroot - Radishes - Red cabbage - Red peppers - Red potatoes - Red onions - Red chilli peppers.
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OUTSTANDING ORANGE

Alpha and beta carotene give vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes their vivid colour. The compounds can be converted in the body to vitamin A, a nutrient that protects against infection, keeps eyes, skin and bones healthy and helps mop up damaging free radicals. Packed with beta carotene, manganese, copper, fiber, B6, potassium and iron, sweet potatoes help stomach ulcers and inflamed conditions of the colon and also prevent certain cancers.

Squash and pumpkins are two superfoods. Squash is considered good at fighting off cancer, especially lung cancer and reducing the risk of heart disease and pumpkins help the kidneys function and give urinary tract support. Carrots, the richest vegetable source for beta-carotene, are great for eyesight, reducing cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, helping prevent macular degeneration and aiding people with diabetes control their insulin levels.

Orange vegetables include:

Carrots - Pumpkin - Sweet potatoes - Winter squash.
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