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The health benefits of orange fruits and vegetables

Yvette Stines has written about health, beauty, education and entertainment for numerous publications. She holds a Masters of Education and a Masters of Science in Holistic Nutrition.

Eat your colors

The lively color orange represents strength and endurance. The spectrum of this sunny color can enhance a bright and energizing mood as well as richly warm the comforts of home. And the healthy aura of orange doesn't stop there - thanks to the plethora of the nutrients associated with orange-colored fruits and vegetables, consuming orange foods can help your overall health.

Orange Foods

Eat orange for overall health

The abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients in orange foods are good for your skin, eyes and heart, and they may also decrease your risk of cancer.

Beta-carotene: The best-known nutrient in orange foods is beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant which gives sunny fruits and vegetables their brilliant color. Experts say beta carotene is not only good for eye health it can also delay cognitive aging and protect skin from sun damage.

Vitamin A: Beta carotene is a precursor for vitamin A, which is commonly referred to as retinal, retinol and retonoic acid. Vitamin A is important for night vision, as an antioxidant can neutralize the damaging free radicals in the body, and is crucial in the health of your immune system.

Vitamin C: Orange foods are chockfull of vitamin C, an antioxidant which boosts the immune system, protects against cardiovascular disease and helps rebuild collagen in the skin.

The tasty array of orange-colored fruits and vegetables

Get your fill of orange fruits, including cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, guava, papaya, persimmons, kumquat and mangoes.

Flavorful and warmly-colored orange vegetables include pumpkin, sweet potato and winter squash.

Tips for cooking with orange fruits and veggies

Dice orange fruit and add it to cereal, salads and desserts, transform it into a fresh salsa or relish, or puree it for smoothies, sauces or cool soups.

Kumquats, which are tiny citrus fruits, can be made into marmalade and jelly, or thinly sliced and added to greens or grain salads. And persimmons, which are packed with fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron, are well-known for persimmon pudding and persimmon pies, but can also be eaten as is.

Pumpkin is a star in pies, soup, and baked goods.

>> Give these three pumpkin recipes a taste!

Sweet potatoes are healthier stand-ins for white potatoes and can be baked, roasted, mashed or pureed.

Winter squash is teeming with culinary possibilities, particularly around the holidays when winter squash can be roasted, baked, stuffed and turned into casseroles.

>> Click for daring winter squash desserts

Whether you want to feel energized or cozy in, the color orange will brighten your mood and colorfully benefit your health.


 

More healthy ways to eat your colors

Stay radiant with red
The nutritional power of purple foods

 

Red - orange - yellow! Click here for more

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