Summer Superfoods!

In the quest for improved health and disease prevention we are always on the search for the one superfood that promises to deliver longevity and vitality. However, truth be told there is no one food that can be claimed to the “magic” pill. Instead reseachers have found two key properties, know as antioxidants and phytochemicals can decrease risk of cancers, heart disease, and other chronic medical conditions. These properties are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables and act to protect our cells. Eating colorful veggies and fruits help to keep you healthy.  Here are some specific ideas!

Apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, mangoes, peaches, yellow peppers and sweet potato all contain the natual plant pigment called “carotenoids.” Carotenoids play an essential role in the health of our eyes and improving our overall immune function.

Beets, red cabbage, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefuit, red grapes, red peppers, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon contain natural pigments called lycopene and anthocyanis. Lycopene is a carotenoid and has been found to help reduce the risk of some cancers especially prostate cancer. Anthocyanins act as a powerful antioxidant protecting our cells and keeping our heart healthy.

Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, green cabbage, kiwi, lettuce, green beans, green onions, and peas contain the natural plant pigment called cholrophyl which is a  powerful antioxidant. These dark green veggies and fruits contain the antioxidants lutein (support eye health) and indole. Indoles found in cruciferous veggies are protective against some cancers.

Anthocyannins are also found in blue and purple veggies and fruits so eat plenty of blueberries, eggplants, plums, purple grapes and prunes.  Lastly, don’t forget your whie fruits and veggies such as cauliflower, bananas, garlic, mushrooms, and white onions. These foods not only add flavor and variety to meals but also provide a slew of anthoxanthins. Anthoxanthins are linked to a decrease in cholesterol and blood pressure as well as reducing the risk of stomach cancer.

Bottom line – Stay healthy by eating colorful fruits and vegetables!