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Brightly colored fruits and vegetables have more to offer than just their good looks. Plants contain vitamins, minerals, and thousands of phytochemicals that have been linked to good health.
The red pigments found in tomatoes are rich in lycopene, and cherries, plums and strawberries contain anthocyanins; the white pigments found in cauliflower are high in indole-3-carbanols, while garlic contains allicin.
But color isn’t always an exact indicator. For example, it’s well-known that berries and grape skins are rich in resveratrol–but peanuts are also a good source.
We still have so much to learn about the health benefits of plants–which is an even greater reason to eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
Aiming for the recommended 5 to 9 servings a day isn’t as difficult as it sounds either. Most medium to large bananas are actually 2 servings, and I’ve rarely seen anyone eat just one cup of salad greens. Once you familiarize yourself with servings sizes, you might be surprised that you aren’t that far off the mark.
Eating a wide variety of foods is a basic tenet of self-care. Our bodies require a wealth of nutrients to function properly, and an even wider variety to function well. As you put together your next grocery list, review it for color and variety to maximize the nutrient content of your meals.