Paint Your Plate with Color

Toss blueberries in your yogurt. Garnish your salad with sliced beets. Tuck spinach leaves in your sandwich. Color offers much more than eye appeal to a wonderful meal! A rainbow of fruits and vegetables creates a palette of nutrients and phytonutrients on your plate, each with a different bundle of potential benefits in a healthful diet: from oxidizing free radicals that may damage healthy cells, to having anti-inflammatory qualities, to lowering LDL cholesterol. See "Phy-tonutrients-a 'Crop' for Good Health" in chapter 4.

Research is uncovering the benefits of the pigment-related phytonutrients-and the colorful fruits and vegetables that supply them.

  • Green: fruit-avocado, green apples, green grapes, honeydew, kiwifruit, lime, green pears; vegetables-artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, green cabbage, leafy greens, okra, green pepper, snow peas, zucchini. Their lutein and indoles have antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks.
  • Orange and deep yellow: fruit-apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach, pineapple, yellow apple, yellow fig; veggies-carrot, yellow beets, yellow pepper, sweet corn, sweet potato, winter squash. Carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and the antioxidant vitamin C may promote a healthy heart, vision, immunity, and reduced risk for some cancers. The deeper the yellow/orange color, the more carotenoids these foods have!
  • Purple and blue: fruit-blackberries, blueberries, plums, purple figs, raisins; veggies-eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato. Anthocyanins, which give a blue-purple color, and phenolics, may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits, and may help with memory, urinary tract health, and reduced cancer risks.
  • Red: fruit-cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit; red grapes, strawberries, watermelon; veggies-beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, tomatoes. This color group delivers lycopene, a powerful carotenoid, as well as anthocyanins. They may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity, and may reduce cancer risks. When cooked or canned, lycopene is more available to your body.
  • White, tan, brown: fruit-banana, brown pear, dates, white peaches; veggies-cauliflower, jicama, kohlrabi, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnip, white-fleshed potato, white corn. Of particular interest: allicin in garlic and onion, and selenium in mushrooms may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.

For more about colorful vegetables and fruits, see chapter 10.

dissolve. Aromas and tastes need time to blend. Textures change as you chew, too!

  • Handle and cook foods with care. Overcooking and poor storage destroy flavor.
  • Serve food hot—or cold. Enticing flavors come partly from aromas released with heat. Coldness can give a refreshing mouthfeel.

See "Flavor on the Menu " in chapter 14.

Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies

Do You Want To Know About A Magical Drink? A Drink That Is A Refreshing Twist For Every Party! A Drink That Is Full of Nutrients And Energy! Green Smoothies A Perfect Blend of Fruits And Green Vegetables!

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