Fruits and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet—they are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases.
The brighter, deeper colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits. Some great choices are:
- Greens: Greens are packed with calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, C, E and K, and they help strengthen the blood and respiratory systems. Be adventurous with your greens and branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce—kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options.
- Sweet vegetables: Naturally sweet vegetables add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets. Some examples of sweet vegetables are corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or yams, winter squash, and onions.
- Fruits: A wide variety of fruit is also vital to a healthy diet. Fruit provides fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.