Shari Duncan

ORANGE: It’s So Much More than a Pretty Color
Shari

by on Jan.14, 2012, under Fruits and Veggies, General Nutrition

Eat more Orange if you want to Live Longer… and I don’t mean Cheese Puffs.

Have you ever noticed that people with poor diets, eat foods that are mostly beige in color?  Breads, pasta, french fries…   If you are trying to improve your diet, adding color is where it’s at. Orange pigment in foods, for one, provides a significant nutritional kick and should be incorporated daily into your meal plans.  Some of the healthiest  foods to be found are sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and other squash, mango, papaya, apricots, cantaloupe and oranges/tangerines.

These foods are usually colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain

Add ORANGE Everyday for Optimal HEALTH.

healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists consistently report that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and improve immune system function. Recent studies have also shown that people who have large quantities of the antioxidant alpha-carotene in their blood (found chiefly in pumpkins and carrots) have a 61% lower risk of disease-related death. And carotenoid consumption protects against the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Citrus fruits like oranges are not rich in carotenoids; however they are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

Sweet potatoes are one of the best orange foods.  They contain huge amounts of beta-carotene, manganese, copper, fiber, B-6, potassium, iron…. that’s a lot of nutritional power packed into a small potato case!

Adding more orange to your diet is easy.  The produce department carries a variety of orange foods year round.  Fruits like pumpkin are not just for Halloween. Like the sweet potato, pumpkin is one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can get and is inexpensive and convenient in its canned form. High in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin is simple to incorporate into recipes, like muffins, pancakes, and breads.

Incorporating orange fruits and vegetables everyday is not difficult to do and will improve your overall health while keeping illness and disease at bay.

EASY ORANGE ADD-INS:

ü  Sliced orange peppers to a sandwich or wrap

ü  Baby carrots to a salad

ü  Apricots with mixed nuts for a healthy snack mix.

ü  Fresh Orange, Peach, and/or Mango, Vanilla protein and almond/soy milk for a delicious “Orange Dream” Smoothie.

ü  Thinly slice or dice sweet potatoes, lightly toss in olive oil, and roast in 375 oven for a simple side dish.

Cut up cantaloupe, mix with cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast, or snack.


On your next trip to the grocery, be sure to fill you cart with plenty of color; and don’t neglect the ORANGE.

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