Sure, green vegetables are nutritional powerhouses. But don’t neglect their red, orange, purple and yellow cousins. Bright is beautiful when it comes to vegetables: particularly if your optimal-health goal includes boosting your immune system, preserving your eye sight and reducing the risk of cancer. That’s because the vitamins, minerals and all-natural chemical components in vegetables help do all of this … and more.
The “more” includes lowering your risk of heart disease: a feat linked to vegetables’ rich fiber content. Dr. Smith notes that vegetables are similarly low in calories and fat, another important component of a heart-healthy diet.
Research reveals that “stroke is the third leading cause of death and the most common cause of disability in most developed countries.” (Lancet 2006;367:320.) The good news? Increasing your daily consumption of nutrient-packed vegetables can substantially reduce your risk of developing a stroke.
Dr. Smith and nutritional experts from around the world recommend eating a minimum of five vegetable and fruit servings per day — and the brighter the better. Why? Because the brighter the colour, the more phytonutrients a vegetable contains.
Phytonutrients and phytochemicals, two terms that are used interchangeably, are plant-based substances that feature disease-fighting attributes. The most common are terpenes (essential oils), carotenoids (fat-soluble plant pigments found in vividly coloured fruits and vegetables), phytosterols (compounds found in the cells and membranes of plants) and limonoids (found in citrus peel).