Assorted Colors of Vegetables

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Vegetables are a staple of healthy nutritional strategies. Consume a plethora of different colored vegetables every day for optimum results. Aim to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Vegetables are available in an array of tastes and colors. Each color classification of vegetables is loaded with different nutrients.

The simplest color group breakdown of vegetables includes green, blue/purple, red, orange/yellow and white/brown/tan. Eat a variety of vegetables from each color category to receive a large number of essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

A large number of vegetables fit into the green color category. The most popular include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, green cabbage, celery, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, okra, peas, green peppers, snow peas, spinach, watercress and zucchini. Green vegetables are nutrient dense, meaning they are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Spinach is loaded with dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin A while being low in calories. Brussels sprouts are a natural, low sodium and low fat source of vitamin C and folate. One serving of cooked kale provides a healthy level of vitamin K and vitamin A.

Vegetables in the blue/purple category include black olives, eggplant and purple peppers. Eat black olives as a source of healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and is a fat free, sodium free, low calorie source of dietary fiber. Purple peppers contain zero saturated fat and high levels of vitamin C.

Beets, red peppers, radishes, red onions, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes are classified as red colored vegetables. Red veggies can be eaten in a variety of ways in a wide range of dishes. Consume these easily accessible vegetables for a large amount of nutrients.

Enjoy beets either raw or cooked to get a healthy quantity of folate. Red peppers, radishes and rhubarb are high in vitamin C.

Tomatoes are filled with lycopene, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C while being free of saturated fat and low in calories. Cooked tomatoes and tomato paste are higher sources of lycopene than raw tomatoes. Lycopene is a nutrient that is theorized to help in the prevention and management of prostate cancer.

Orange/yellow vegetables include butternut squash, carrots, yellow peppers, pumpkins, rutabagas, yellow summer squash, yellow winter squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes and yellow tomatoes. Most members of the orange/yellow vegetable class are high quality sources of vitamin C and vitamin A. This group varies in taste and season while supplying a large number of healthy vitamins and minerals.

Carrots are well-known as excellent suppliers of vitamin A and vitamin C. Butternut squash is a source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin A. Sweet corn is an essential ingredient of a nutritious American summer meal. Sweet corn contains high amounts of vitamin C and no sodium and no saturated fat.

Pumpkin is filled with antioxidants, zinc, potassium and fiber. Pumpkin contains anti-inflammatory qualities. These two characteristics make pumpkin a strong source for fighting disease.

Sweet potatoes help reduce inflammation and are considered an excellent source of vitamin A. Besides being classified as a very good source of manganese and vitamin C, sweet potatoes are classified as a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, copper and several types of vitamin B.

Vegetables in the white/brown/tan category include cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, white fleshed potatoes, turnips and white corn. Cauliflower is filled with vitamin C and vitamin K making a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory vegetable.

Garlic is a great source of sulfur, manganese, vitamin C, selenium and vitamin B6. Garlic contains cardio-protective, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and helps decrease oxidation and inflammation. For increased health benefits before you cook garlic let it sit after chopping or crushing it.

Eating vegetable every day is easy. Have them as snacks and with meals. Consume five to nine servings of nutrient dense vegetables and fruits daily for optimum health benefit.

Choose vegetables from each color classification to fight disease and promote health. Each of your meals should contain a wide spectrum of colored vegetables to supply your body with an array of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic located at 2595 S. Cimarron Rd, Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89117.  His web address is www.ChampionshipChiropractic.com and he can be contacted at (702) 286-9040 and  DrO@ChampionshipChiropractic.com .

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC writes a weekly health, fitness, exercise and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. His is also published in OnFitness magazine, LiveStrong.com, SpineUniverse.com, MyHealthZine.com and EHow.com.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to various groups on health, fitness, exercise and nutrition topics. His mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC loves to exercise. Bike riding and kettlebell training are his current favorite forms of exercises. He credits “The Godfather of Fitness” Mr. Jack LaLanne as an early influence on his life.

Before pursuing his career in Chiropractic, Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bremerton, SSN 698.

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