We all agree colorful things lighten up our day. When it comes to eating, similar rules apply: who doesn’t love a plate filled with colorful food? However, simply being visually appealing is not enough. In fact, colorful fruits and veggies are packed with important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. At FreshZen, we believe in a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet, and here is just a spectrum of colorful produce that will certainly go well with our most beloved Ginger Scallion pesto sauce.
Let’s start with red. Most red fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and phytochemicals such as lycopene, which are powerful agents that can greatly decrease the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. They have also been found to both lower the risk and slow down the progression of prostate cancer. Thinking red, beets, tomatoes, and radishes are my go-to’s.
Moving on to the next color range on the rainbow spectrum. it’s hard to ever overstate the nutritional values of orange and yellow produce. Packed with vitamin C and carotenoids, orange and yellow produce not only help to boost our immune system, but also plays a significant role in promoting eye and skin health. Carrots, pumpkins, and butternut squash are all great choices.
There are simply too many vegetables to choose from when thinking about the classic leafy green. Green veggies usually contain a high amount of folic acid, which is particularly important for pregnant women to minimize the risk of birth defects. Also rich in vitamin K, green produce can provide essential nutrients for bone and blood health. Some dark leafy greens like kale have also been shown to improve mood. Though green veggies are what we encounter the most, I still love spinach, swiss chard, asparagus, and kale the most.
Ending with these two seemingly less vibrant colors, we are here to introduce you to the true power of these foods. Many white veggies have anti-cancer compounds such as sulforaphane and allicin, which can help to reduce the risk of colon, prostate, and breast cancer. White and brown produce is also a go-to ingredient for regulating cholesterol levels. When I think of white and brown, cauliflower, garlic, onion, and mushroom come to my mind.
So next time, when you are standing in the supermarket’s produce aisle and battling which veggies to get, just remember: keep it simple, fresh, and colorful. I promise eating colorfully would not only satisfy all your nutritional needs, but also make you feel good about yourself. Make a rainbow meal, and let that beam shine throughout your day.
In fact, many microbes carry essential roles in our bodily functions, such as breaking down the food we eat, working alongside our immune system, providing nutrients for other cells in the body, and regulating metabolism. What’s more, our gut microbiome is able to change its composition based on what food we eat. You’ve probably heard those beneficial probiotics in yogurt a thousand times, but what if I tell you those magical microbes are present in many popular Asian foods as well?