Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fruits and Vegetable chart!


Fruits and vegetables (as mums have known forever), are essential for proper nutrition as well as for fending off and protecting against a variety of diseases. Take a look at the table below, which is based on the "5 a Day" initiative. Add an item to your diet everyday from each of the fruit and vegetables colour categories and you will reap the
benefits associated with that category.

The 5 A Day Program and Produce for Better Health Foundation suggest eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from different color groups to get an assortment of phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.

Color & Examples Phytochemical Examples Potential Benefits
Red: apples, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, beets, red peppers, radicchio, tomatoes Lycopene, anthocyanins Maintain memory function, heart health, and urinary tract health; reduce blood pressure, fight infections, and reduce risk of some cancers
Orange/yellow: apricots, mangos, oranges, peaches, pineapple, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, winter squash Carotenoids, bioflavonoids Maintain health of heart, eyes, and immune system, slow aging, and reduce risk of some cancers
Green: leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peas, spinach, honeydew, kiwi, avocados Lutein, indoles, carotenoids Improve vision, strengthen bones and teeth, and reduce risk of some cancers
Blue/purple: blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, plums, eggplant, purple cabbage Anthocyanins, phenolics, resveratrol Facilitate healthier aging, enhance memory function, urinary tract health and cardiovascular health and reduce risk of some cancers
White/tan/brown: onions, garlic, cauliflower, turnips, mushrooms, potatoes, bananas, pears, dates Allicin, quercetin, sulphoraphane Improve heart health, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and reduce risk of some cancers
Not all foods listed above, even within the same group, have the same health benefits. Foods with the same phytochemicals may contain different concentrations of the phytochemicals, and the compounds may be absorbed differently. Even different varieties of foods within the same category (such as different varieties of apples or lettuce) may contain widely varying concentrations and kinds of phytochemicals. However, those darker in color usually contain higher concentrations. So think "more color and more variety" in making your selections!

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