Adding a variety of colors to your plate is beneficial for so many reasons, and not just because it can pretty up a dinner party. Every color of the rainbow can be found at your local farmers’ market, and each and every one of those colors represents a different antioxidant, a different vitamin or mineral that the body needs to function properly. Add these colorful vegetables to your table and enjoy the health benefits all year round!
1) Colorful Tomatoes: We all know that tomatoes come in a number of varieties, shapes, sizes and colors. Those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes that you find at the farmers’ market may not look perfect (they come in funny shapes, sizes and colors) but they offer up tons of health benefits! Splurge on yellow, orange or even pink tomatoes next time you shop, or maybe cook some fried green tomatoes like Grandma used to make!
2) Orange and Purple Cauliflower: There are a number of hybrid cauliflowers on the produce stands today. These are not GMO’s, these are just new breeds of cauliflower. The purple has been crossbred with purple cabbage, and orange has beta-carotene just like carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
The cauliflower typically tastes the same, but you get a host of different nutrients when you branch out and try these more colorful varieties.
3) White Asparagus: The white asparagus standing soldier-like next to the ‘normal’ green asparagus at your grocer has similar nutrients but actually has a few less antioxidants than the green. This is because of the way its grown. It is grown in a way as to block out all sunlight, so the asparagus never gets a chance to turn green. This means it has a bit thicker skin and a little more of a delicate, but bitter, taste. So, if you haven’t had a chance to try the white, yet, add it to your grocery list tonight!
4) Bell Peppers: Colorful bell peppers are always a fun way to liven up any dish. They add flavor, and color, to nearly anything. The different colors in bell peppers come from their different harvest times. Green peppers get their color because they are actually harvested before they are ripe. If left to ripen, they turn yellow or red. Again, this counts for the peppers different tastes, too. As peppers ripen, the sugar content increases, and, as the colors change, the antioxidant levels change, too. It is always good to vary the types of peppers you use in order to add more vitamins to your cooking.
5) Purple and Blue Potatoes: It seems that purple and blue potatoes are a new novelty on the market. These pretty potatoes are high in carotenoids and flavonoids which have been touted as helping us reduce our cancer risks. These more colorful potatoes are also high in lutein, which is good for eye health.
So no matter how you look at it, adding color to your palate can really liven up dinner, and improve your health!
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