Today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day. In my humble opinion it should be everyday, but hopefully it will help people to get more veggies in their world. When I learned about this day, I was already in a reflective mood. I thought about my very first magazine article published in Atlanta Life in 2006. That was ages ago but it feels like yesterday. The article was about the health benefits of the color of foods. So much info has changed since then. Many people have said I was way ahead of my time, but it is still relevant today. Here are some great colorful veggie options and their benefits.
Red: These veggies have many antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins. These agents help fight against heart disease and prostate cancer while helping fight against free radicals. Red foods are also known to help your joints and reduce arthritis. Think beets, tomatoes, rhubarb, red peppers, and red onions.
Orange/Yellow: Carrots, Pumpkin, Squash, and Yams will keep you full and healthy. Orange foods have Beta-carotene which is the best-known nutrient in orange foods. This powerful antioxidant gives these fruits and vegetables their brilliant color. Experts say beta carotene is not only good for eye health it can also delay cognitive aging and protect skin from sun damage. Beta carotene is also a precursor for vitamin A, which is commonly referred to as retinal, retinol and retonoic acid. Vitamin A is important for night vision. As an antioxidant can neutralize the damaging free radicals in the body helps your immune system.
Green: Green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and swiss chard are great for eye health, cell rejuvenation, and they collectively they are a rich source of minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The vitamins include K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. Throw some of these veggies in your smoothie or make a great leafy green salad.
Blue/Purple: Purple veggies are colored by a pigment called anthocyanin. This is a protective antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer, improve memory and aid in healthy aging. Purple foods also have flavonoids which are very beneficial to the cardiovascular system and can lower your risk of heart disease. Think eggplant, purple cabbage, purple peppers, purple potatoes and purple onions.
White: These foods are known to lower the risk of cancers, ease inflammation and sustain a healthy heart. Think onions, garlic, turnip, and parsnips.
Help the kids celebrate too!
This one is for the kids in your world. Cut up some veggies that are different colors and ask them to create the rainbow with the food. If you want to encourage healthy eating and living in a child’s life, my book Vernon the Vegetable Man will help. Click here to learn more, check out some photos, read great comments, and buy the book. When you buy it, you get a free gift and autographed copy! (Please provide the name of the person)
Let me know, what are your favorite veggies?
Peace and blessings,