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Eating Well by Color

http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/seasonal_local/eatingwell_in_season/eating_well_by_color

By EatingWell Editors, EatingWell In Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook (2009)

A simple way to load up on nature’s superfoods.

Did you know that you can get what your body needs just by eating a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables? Nature has found a clever way to highlight the nutrients in foods: different nutrients actually impart different colors to the foods they’re in. For instance, the anthocyanins that turn blueberries blue can also keep your mind sharp, the lycopene that turns watermelon and tomatoes red may also help protect against prostate and breast cancers, and the beta carotene that makes carrots and sweet potatoes orange can help keep your bones strong, your eyes healthy and boost your immune system. While fresh fruits and vegetables are great in season, frozen ones are convenient to keep on hand and just as nutritious. So load up!

7 Colors That Should Be on Your Plate Every Day »

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Blue, Purple & Deep Red

Blue, purple and deep-red fruits and vegetables are full of anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, antioxidants associated with keeping the heart healthy and the brain functioning optimally.

Blackberries
Blueberries
Eggplant
Plums
Cranberries
Grapes
Radishes (red)
Raspberries
Strawberries

Next: Green (part 1) »
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Green, part 1 (cruciferous)

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, provide compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates, which may help prevent cancer by amping up the production of enzymes that clear toxins from the body.

Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower
Green cabbage
Kale

Next: Yellow & Green (part 2) »

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Yellow & Green, part 2 (leafy greens)

Many yellow and green vegetables are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that accumulate in the eyes and help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older people. Leafy greens are also rich in beta carotene. (Click here for 5 foods to eat to help your eyes.)

Artichoke
Corn
Lettuce
Summer squash
Wax beans
Arugula
Chard
Collards
Mustard greens
Turnip greens

Next: Orange »
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Orange

Alpha and beta carotene make foods like carrots and sweet potatoes so brilliantly orange. The body converts these compounds into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. These phytochemicals also operate as antioxidants, sweeping up disease-promoting free radicals.

Apricots
Cantaloupe
Carrots
Mango
Oranges
Papaya
Pumpkin
Sweet potatoes
Tangerines
Winter squash

Next: Red »
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Red

Red foods, such as tomatoes and watermelon, contain lycopene, a phytochemical that may help protect against prostate and breast cancers.

Guava
Pink grapefruit
Red peppers
Tomatoes
Watermelon

Next Slideshow: 10 Everyday Superfoods »