Feeling a bit blue? How about some orange? This October, embrace orange by introducing some new veggies into the mix, to increase your nutrient power and banish the blues. Here’s why you should consider a new hue on your plate:
1. Chock Full of Flavanoids
Nutrient-rich orange veggies are a terrific source of flavonoids, a naturally-occurring antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming foods high in flavonoids can help you with a myriad of issues by helping to reduce damage to cells – including helping to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
2. Vitamin A, C, and Beta Carotene
We all know that carrots equal healthy eyes, but that’s not all the advantages orange veggies offer. High in vitamin A and C, orange veggies help to boost your immune system – particularly when combined with healthy fat – coconut oil stir fry, anyone? Meanwhile, the lutein and zeaxanthin in orange vegetables can help to prevent cataracts, to keep you seeing clear well into old age.
Additionally, vitamin A can help your body produce retinoic acid, which in studies has shown to help fight against the earlier stages of breast cancer.
3. Alpha, too
Beta carotene seems to get all the attention, but the alpha carotene found in orange veggies, combined with its counterpart, helps to boost antioxidants in the body, which can lead to a healthier heart and cardiovascular system.
4. Filling Fiber
Adding healthy fiber to your diet accomplishes a few things. For one, it helps you feel full and slows down your digestion, to assist with healthy weight management. Meanwhile, fiber can help to reduce cholesterol for healthier arteries and a reduced risk of heart problems. Replacing simpler starches with fiber-filled alternatives provide more nutrients and can lead to better overall health and a more manageable diet.
5. Potassium Power
Orange vegetables are a terrific source of potassium, which is a vital ingredient to help your body reduce blood pressure naturally. Just one cup of carrot juice or ½ cup of tomato puree is all you need to supply your body with its daily requirement.
Which Orange Veggies?
Besides the autumn standards of carrots and sweet potatoes, what other orange veggies can you include on your plate? Here are some orange (and yellow) veggies to consider:
- Pumpkin and butternut squash
- Corn (yes, corn!)
- Orange and yellow peppers
- Yellow beets
- Yellow tomatoes
- Sweet potatoes
For even more health benefits, combine your orange/yellow vegetables with other colors – such as rich reds and deep greens (purples too!). The darker the colors, the more nutrients you’ll receive. Whether cooked, stir-fried, steamed, smoothie or fresh, orange veggies are a perfect way to get some warmth and color in your diet.