Tips from Edina Registered Dietitian Lisa

Each color of vegetables provides a different benefit to our bodies, which is why it is so important to eat a variety of different colors and textures of vegetables throughout the week! Not only do vegetables provide vitamins and minerals, they also contain various flavonoids, which provide vegetables with their rich color and protect against disease. As summer quickly approaches, plan to eat meals with each in-season vegetable! Here are the benefits of each color:

Red: Colored by Lycopene and Anthocyanin. These provide antioxidants to support the immune system and protect the heart.
Examples: red bell peppers, tomatoes, beets, radishes

Yellow/orange: Colored by carotenoids. Many of these vegetables contain vitamin A, which supports mucous membranes including eye health. They also supports the immune system.
Examples: carrots, pumpkin, squash 

Green: Contain Lutein and Indoles. They support the immune system and protect against some types of cancers. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which protects the body from some chronic diseases.
Examples: broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, kale, celery, zucchini, green beans, green peppers, spinach, etc. 

White: Colored by anthoxanthins. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol!
Examples: cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, ginger 

Blue/Purple: Colored by Anthocyanin. They contain antioxidants to protect against cell damage, reducing risk for cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Some foods in this category are also touted to protect memory as one ages.
Examples: eggplant